I know that there are some individuals who may privately think why CNN or any other network is even doing a series about Black people in America or anywhere else. Some may ask or feel slighted in some way, because there isn’t much direct attention offered to their race or heritage by the mainstream media. To those individuals I say to you that I empathize with you and welcome to being Black in America.
As someone who is fortunate enough to have been born Black in America I have learned that it’s more important to embrace and appreciate who I am, while doing the same to all other races and cultures. I commend CNN for taking on such a documentary, although I believe more Black people will tune in than Whites or any other race.
Too often many people feel that a program that emphasis a specific race is not directed for them and they should not pay much attention to it. I would beg to differ this point with you, because it should indicate that you should pay attention to it. It’s an opportunity for you to gain a more accurate depiction of a community, culture and race who some have limited contact with.
I’ve said it on previous occasions within this blog and I’ll reiterate it once again. This is the reason why the excuse that is often used by some to satisfy the guilt one may have in terms of race and their relationships in terms of it is often silently laughed at and not taken seriously. When you say, “You’re so articulate”, “One of my best friends is Black” or “I work with someone Black”. Even if this is true, I’m asking you not to say it. This is why. You shouldn’t feel that you have to make such a statement to justify to someone’s racial perceptions or aptitude towards a particular group. To make these sorts of statements indicates you look at that person first in the prism of their race instead of their character. They’re your friend, co-worker or spouse, not your Black friend, your Latina Co-worker or your White spouse.
One more thing, don’t be fooled and believe that this is some phenomenon limited to just White people; because I’ve heard Black people say similar things when confronted about race and their relationship with it regarding other races. Racism is not racist, anyone can be one.
Listen, be who you are, but don’t close your mind to the opportunities others can offer you because of the color of your or their skin. The more you socialize and learn about other cultures, the more you’ll realize how similar we all are. You have someone crazy in your family just as I do; if not then you’re the crazy one. J
Being Black in America is similar to being any other race in this country and unique at the same time. The misunderstanding, suspicion and apprehension we all have towards each other must end. The only way to do that is to begin to consider each other. This begins with you and ends with me.
CNN: Black In America 2 premiers July 22nd & 23rd at 8pm EST. I ask all of you who visit this blog on a regular basis to just take the opportunity to watch these series. I may be Black, but I’m not an expert on All Things Negro, but I’m always willing to join in on a conversation about Black people and race in general. We’re just as crazy and messed up as you, but we also have made tremendous contributions to the world and deserve the same respect and recognition as you also.
Check out the interactive site they have called Journeys at http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2009/black.in.america/journeys/
Follow me on Twitter if you would like to chat during the broadcast. Until the next time, I hope to talk with you soon.