And the News Reporter says: “Jesus is White”

Black Cool, Diversity in the Media, Social Justice

Here, I leave you with this video, slam poet Crystal Valentine recites a very powerful message referring to when Megyn Kelly, Fox News host, declared during a broadcast that the historical Jesus Christ and fictional Santa Claus are both white men.

As I listened to Valentine’s voice, spitting words that gave me chills, the sadness and anger I felt when she said, “How can she say Jesus was a white man when he died the blackest way possible? With his hands up? With his mother watching? Crying at his feet?” It reminded me at how much change still needs to come our way.

I don’t want to say much on this post because her words are enough.

 

Thoughts?

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Diverse TV Shows: Beyoncé sips her “Lemonade”

Black Cool, Diversity in the Media

There is a huge absence of TV networks developing and producing television shows that include diversity. For part three of this ongoing series I will be focusing on Beyoncé’s visual film, LEMONADE. You can read part one, and part two.

The whole world tuned onto HBO Saturday night to watch Beyoncé’s film, “Lemonade,” which turned out to be a visual album.

The film was 60-minutes long and it featured music videos tied in with spoken word. This film has allowed Beyoncé to express issues from her personal life, especially her marriage to husband Jay-Z, in a way that she has never done before.

I’m connecting this as part three to my ongoing series is because she spoke and explored the issues of an ordinary black women in today’s society. She included a very famous and powerful line from one of his speeches in her song “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” Malcom X says: “The most disrespected woman in America is the black women. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman.” As he says this, many beautiful scenes of black women in America are shown, you can see their struggles and deepest emotions on their face.

Another powerful song is “Freedom,” which talks about blackness in America, Bey sings:  “Freedom, freedom, where are you? ‘Cause I need freedom, too, I’ma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves,” in the film an emotional scene was shown with black mothers who have lost black men in their lives due to police brutality including Gwen Carr, Sybrina Fulton and Lezley McSpadden, the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

Although this film doesn’t really have much to do with the lack of diversity shown on television, it does spark a change by having one of the world’s biggest superstars use her platform by making a film that spoke about issues that individuals are experiencing in their everyday lives, black lives and black women.

The Poverty Cycle

Black Cool, Social Justice

 

To this day I feel like not many individuals are aware of this. The picture above shows the poverty cycle which at times it may be called the “ghetto” cycle. It has been proven that minorities, especially black women, are most likely to become trapped into poverty. One of the reasons why these black women are usually trapped into the poverty cycle is because they are usually evicted from their household and that’s how the cycle begins. 
How The Eviction Epidemic Is Trapping Black Women In Poverty,” is a article I read on HuffPost Black Voices. Harvard University sociologist Matthew Desmond is publishing a book titled Evicted, in which he follows eight of his neighbors from his younger years as they try and fail to find stable housing, as well as the landlords, property managers, eviction movers and judges who decide their fates. 

Desmond says, “Eviction is fundamentally changing the face of poverty, one way we can interpret eviction is like, ‘Oh, it’s a result of irresponsibility, it’s bad spending habits.’ But if … you’re spending 80 percent of your income on rent, eviction is much more of an inevitability than an irresponsibility.”

  
Eviction is something very common from where I come. I am from the South End area from Springfield, Massachusetts which some people might call “Little Puerto Rico,” because that’s where you’ll find the biggest population of Latinos, you’ll see many Bodegas up and down streets as well as Spanish restaurants and so much more.

One thing that intrigued me from reading this article is that it was not surprising, I felt like I was reading something I already knew. It’s obvious that the government makes sure minorities in general are trapped in this poverty cycle. They make sure we are all trapped in the same projects and neighborhoods so we won’t feel the need to actually leave because if we do we won’t be with “our people” anymore. We’ll be in a different world where you won’t have the same culture or ethnic background as your neighbor or manager. 

The fact that black women are in a high risk of being trapped in this cycle for being evicted is quite heartbreaking. In Desmond’s book he goes into great depths of research. While he observes the neighborhoods he once was a part of he met children and their families of whom were evicted or were going through horrible struggles. 

One question I’d like to ask is why do you think black women are at a higher common risk of being evicted rather than white women?

Diverse TV Shows: ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’

Black Cool, Diversity in the Media

There is a huge absence of TV networks developing and producing television shows that include diversity. This is part two of the ongoing series, you can read part one here, part two

If you keep up with Netflix you should know that ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘ is now available with its second season. The point of this ongoing series is to examine and analyze the diversity in which we are offered in television shows.

In part one of this series I spoke about why there’s a lack of diversity within television networks and the shows they produce. Netflix has recently became more successful by creating, producing, and streaming their own original series. One of those original series being ‘Orange Is The New Black.’ Most of these original series I have realized actually tackle many stereotypes and social justice issues even if it’s in a positive or negative light. I always found it interesting as to why shows like these aren’t on actual television networks.

In this second season of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidth,’ we see a lot of issues involving race. Of course as to why a white actress was cast to play a Native American woman? In the first season she was hiding from her ethnicity and was portraying herself as a typical caucausian housewife, but with this new season she has decided to embrace her culture. Yes, it is refreshing to see this type of controversy involving race but at the same time why couldn’t they actually cast an actress that was not white in the first place? This is the lack of diversity that I mean to talk about.

In part one of this series I used a quote from Wilmer Valederrama’s interview in which he said, “I think [networks’] intentions are in the right place, to try and develop as much diversity as possible, but unfortunately I think a lot of networks lack a bit of that mojo, that courage to actually give those shows a real shot and allow audiences to really find themselves within the leading stories and the leading characters.” The white actress portraying a Native American women is a great example of what Wilmer was saying.

A lot of television shows and even movies are really trying to include diversity in their work but most of the time they don’t get it right. That’s why people still get mad, and they have the right to. Another example, Zoe Saldana, who is a Latina and was cast to portray Nina Simone an African American women. My question is, why can’t they cast actors who would more easily fit the mold of the character they’ll be playing? Instead of getting an actor who is going to have to change their appearance to fit the role?

Diverse TV Shows Are Going Nowhere

Black Cool, Diversity in the Media

There is a huge absence of TV networks developing and producing television shows that include diversity. Wilmer Valederrama currently did an interview with HuffingtonPost and says that “networks lack the ‘courage’ to give diverse series a real shot.

In the past we have seen a lot of television shows come and go, usually lasting up to one or two seasons and suddenly being cancelled due to ratings and lack of audience. If you look at most of these shows you wouldn’t have a hard time noticing that it lacks diversity.

“I think television has become a lot more ambitious when it comes to conceptualizing a show — the tones, the universes, the characters, the premises, the stories, but I also have to admit that as much as they’re developing a lot of these pilots and as much as they’re developing a lot of vehicles for Latinos and African Americans, we’ve yet to see how many networks and how many studios are really willing to pick up these shows to series, and really get behind those shows and truly help them become a success,” Valderrama told HuffPost.

Although there is a visible gap between television shows and diversity, there are still current TV shows that have found success and have been breaking that mold by having people, stories, and problems in the show that include diversity. For examples, there’s Orange is the New Black, Empire, How to Get Away with Murder, Power, Black-Ish, The Fosters, Becoming Us, Girl Code, Key and Peele and so much more.

Yes, these shows are diverse but why did it take this long for these type of television shows to become successful? I really agree with a point that Wilmer made in his interview, he said, “I think [networks’] intentions are in the right place, to try and develop as much diversity as possible, but unfortunately I think a lot of networks lack a bit of that mojo, that courage to actually give those shows a real shot and allow audiences to really find themselves within the leading stories and the leading characters.”

The absence of diversity is not just in television shows, it’s in movies, magazines, commercials, and so on. Up to this day you can pick up a magazine that has a black celebrity on the cover and there’s a pretty good chance that the black celebrity is only either the second, third, or fourth black celebrity to be featured on the cover of that magazine.

This is part three of an ongoing series, read part one and part two.