This discussion is one part of a series of discussions continuously occurring with my college brothers. Please enjoy the discussion and add your comments.
MarcQus: Solstar to your earlier point; I posted this on facebook two weeks ago from one of the books I am reading.
When popular culture enthusiastically embraces and romanticizes the gangsta-thug, this acts as a powerful incentive for young black men to want to be “the realest, the illest, the killest.” In the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, the music world embraced entertainers such as Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Johnny Mathis, Smokey Robinson, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Michael Jackson because of their superb music, their seductive charisma, and their humaneness. Tragically those days are gone—perhaps they will return. For now, however, popular culture is engaged in a trend of worshiping the most dangerous and threatening images found among black men (Reese, 2004).
AP: I know we need to reverse the images we see on television, but how do we do that when “you know who” owns the stations? We hardly want to work together or even live in the same neighborhood with each other. So how do you go about making the black dollar work for the black race?
Solstar: Twon being someone in the commercial business and having worked in entertainment what are some of your ideas?
AP: First we need to know about the black businesses. Just because it’s in our neighborhood doesn’t mean it’s owned by us. We need to know what we as a people offer in terms of business available now. We should treat those businesses just like we would any store. If you get bad service, then give them constructive criticism. We can only grow if we help each other and if we are open to suggestions. We have people who offer great products, but do not receive the support.
The media images are going to be tough because you are dealing with people’s money. The fact that Lil Jon, Plies, Nicki Minaj and more portray a constructed ridiculous image just to make money is saddening. I may not like all his work, but I applaud some of Tyler Perry’s work to showcase better images of black men and women. We need more of it.
Solstar: I agree a 100% with your business assessment. That’s why I wish i could win the lottery to reinvest that money back in the community and close down some liquor stores…
AP: We need more reality based movies that portray us for who we truly are. We also need movies and shows that put us in different roles. I was happy to see two African Americans in the Fox TV show Fringe. In Torchwood there was this fine woman as a doctor and that was great to see, because she was super fine, but a great doctor also. We need more of that. Black Enterprise magazine does a great job of highlighting black businesses which is why I read it. We need more of that.
Reese, R. (2004). American Paradox: Young Black Men. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.