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CNN's Black in America: Profound or Pablum?-- I really Miss Ed Bradley

Tonight's the night folks CNN will finally air the much-touted Black In America Episode on Black Women & the Family. Y'all know I won't be watching on account of the whole boycotting cable thing, but I am sure YouTube will fill in the gaps.

This is your open thread in anticipation feel free to leave real time comments as you watch. Will Black women be misrepresented yet again? Will CNN try to pull an ESSENCE and depress the heck out of us all or try to prey on our paranoia? Will they scratch beneath the surface and go further than the epidermis or will we just hear the same pablum regurgitated in the tradition of NBC New's African American Women Where they Stand also known as "Black women it sucks to be you!"

Or are Black people inherently difficult to please and all other networks should avoid trying to tell Black folks who they are? Man I miss Ed Bradley. Now HE would have put together a heck of a series on Black people and not just rehashed and reheated the panels from Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Folk's Union presented by Exxon Mobil, McDonald's and Rudy Ray's Rib Shack and Waffles.

I finally got video of what y'all were howling at regarding CNNs' Black in America which aired, in part, on Saturday and Sunday. Hosted by Soledad O'Brien. One woman on the panel and an audience full of women. Now I see why y'all were a bit miffed. Nothing groundbreaking. Nothing monumental.

Now compare that with the discussion from a panel on Black bloggers at Netroots Nation. Notice the complete and total difference in the tone and tenor of the discussion. one group is talking about the future and the other is talking about? ( the first 2 minutes of audio are low, btu the volume pick up after that.)

Reader Comments (22)

"Will Black women be misrepresented yet again?"



July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Pinky

One woman on the panel who spoke for like 6 seconds.
And 23 w/ 3 kids talking about she can do it on her own. She is probably not doing it on her own. She is probably doing w/ the help of Section 8 and food stamps, that's not doing it on your own.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNaima


What the heck does that have to do with this post?

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

His comment had nothing to do with this post which is why it got deleted.

Folks, you can promote your own blog or project int he comments as long as you ADD something substantive to the discussion that is on topic.

The price of your promotion is your contribution to the discourse.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterg-e-m2001

She is probably doing w/ the help of Section 8 and food stamps, that's not doing it on your own.

Assuming she works and pays taxes then her tax money is going to pay for her section 8 and food stamps.

Hell, she could be married and still qualify.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

The entire show made it clear that the black community really means the concern of the black man. The panel was only 50/50 for a total of 20 minutes of the 90 minutes that it ran for. Not only that they keep preaching marriage as a solution without taking into account that the male benefits far more from marriage than women do. Too me this is was all about http://www.womanist-musings.com/2008/07/to-cnn-only-black-men-matter.html" REL="nofollow">how black women need to sacrifice themselves to "uplift" the community.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRenee

As most of us know already, the biggest problem that we face in the black community is the breakup of the family. The center of the breakup unfortunately is the MAN. That's why there's so much emphasis on men right now (CNN, Cosby, Obama and etc.) because we know that most problems in relationships are due to the lack of commitment by the man, and problems with children are because there are no fathers around to discipline and love them!

That's not to say women are not at fault, when many of them are. Lack of morality is a MAJOR problem with both sexes and a reason why there are so many unwed mothers, STD's, failed marriages and what have you.

CNN's forums truly bugged me because no one seemed to be hitting on solutions. Ed Gordon bothered me because of his emphasis on making sure little girls are happy with their daddys, totally missing the point that if you want to make your children happy then you commit to their mothers! I don't know the situation with him and his ex, but dads need to involved in the lives of daughters and sons if they aren't going to make it with the ex.

Families need strengthening and the must come through a strong spiritual foundation, a foundation centered upon Christ and His principles found in the bible.

Otherwise, we are all just left on our own, making up what we believe is right and wrong, resulting in mass confusion and the mess we have today.

I've listed to Netroots video once and will listen to it again before I make any comments about it. I wasn't able to hear any of the questions at the end of it, just the answers on the questions/answers session. Was that me or a problem with the taping?


July 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterblog

I forgot to add when marriage done in the best situation, a man and a woman BOTH living according to God's principles found in the bible, BOTH will be completely fulfilled and happy.

Marriage is to benefit both partners but unfortunately, when one decides not to love their spouses as Christ loves the church, then yes, there will be very little benefits - to either partner! Women will feel oppressed and men will feel suffocated.

Marriage is great -- when done right!

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterblog

I am trying not to be cynical Gina, but I have to be honest.

Soledad Obrien was the best they could get to do this series? What meaningful contribution can she possibly add to being Black in America when she herself has spent most of her career trying to escape it?

I am not looking forward to hearing how horrible black men have it... I see it everyday. I don't want to hear about how we are number 1 in every category of human disease and social ill with no answer on how we can cure those things.

So, while I sincerely want to have an open mind about watching this series... and I mean that, I'm just not too hopeful. Sorry.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

Is there a requirement that the people on these panels have to be over 40?? We already know what they are going to say and that the audience will nod their heads and clap in agreement. We need to go out on the streets and grab (without getting shot) some of these young people and try to figure out why they think the way they think and listen to what they have to say and try to get them to understand that there is a better way.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDROCK

I'm also cynical.

Why call the two segments this week The Black Woman and Family and The Black Man? That told me everything about the approach of these programs. bw are the saviors of the race and bm are going to hell on banana peels with no hope for change.

DROCK, there are some people over 40 (like myself) that do not accept all the stuff that the normal panels talk about:) Talking about the problem for decades does not solve anything. I totally agree that another approach must be taken. Unfortunately the media right now only wants to hear about the problems in the bc. They will not broadcast success stories that they could find if they want to. I have come to the conclusion they do not want to.

I would like to know if TD Jakes said anything sensible over the weekend. From what I remember in times past he did talk about taking responsibility and stepping up to the plate.

Maybe I'll ask my Mom or a friend to record the series. I don't have cable. For the most part I find it to be a waste of money. I just wonder if I will be screaming while watching.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

Pamela, you WILL be screaming!
Don't waste your money, you aren't missing anything!

Nobody was talking about sexual immorality and sexual responsibility which is about 75% of our problems in my opinion. At least no one made me remember that they were talking about it.

I ended up throwing my house shoes at the TV. Especially when Dr. Cornel West starts talking his one million words just to say one sentence speeches. And TD Jakes is an embarrassment to Christianity. When we need someone in his position to call it like it is, he chickens out. At least he did say he won't be passing out condoms in his church. Pastors have lost their minds to pass out condoms in their church while preaching against sexual immorality - if they even do that!

Just my 2 cents.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterblog

Can't watch the show, I don't have a TV. I believe the nature and direction of these shows are "off" - for lack of a better term.

The media continues to discuss us like we are a disease that requires a "cure." The implications are scary. The MSM spends too much time regarding blacks from an entirely negative perspective.

Funk that nonsense: I love being black. We are not a problem, inferior, or a social issue. We are human beings. No group is perfect.

Maybe a quarter of us are dysfunctional. The reasons why are historical and rather obvious.

As far as I can see from stats (Black Enterprise), the majority of us are managing as well as everyone else. Plus being American today seems to mean borderline dysfunctional anyway.

The media needs to stop: next they'll be talking about a "final solution" for us.

I'm not having it.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGoldenAh

36 minutes in and nothing substantial about Black WOMEN. Game over.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss Pinky

"Soledad Obrien was the best they could get to do this series? What meaningful contribution can she possibly add to being Black in America when she herself has spent most of her career trying to escape it?"

Soledad is black?

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYme

Wow. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

See, that's why I love this blog. You learn something new all the time.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYme

Chitlin' Eatin at BEST!!! This is pure overseer negro editorial slant.

I HATED tonight's show. I want Soledad fired...

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBLKSeaGoat

I spoke with my Mom about the program this weekend. She said it was the same old stuff that is always talked about when dealing with issues relating to bp. She was planning on watching tonight's program. I would like to see what her thoughts are on it. My guess is that she probably fell asleep:) We'll see.

July 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPamela

This is the umpteenth site I've visited and the same whining is going on. Did u really hope for an a detailed accurate account of the black woman? All I asked for was people like yourselves to start dialogue amongst each other,and also other groups as well. I don't fault soledad bc she gets called the n* word just like the rest of us whether u wanna believe it or not. In all honesty I'm glad it came on bc I knew it would create this type of atmosphere on the net. Maybe some new insights will come from it. Anywho

Blackfu-Jones signin out

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterseancdennis

Actually I hope more yung folk tune in then older black folk. Were already damaged goods as is.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterseancdennis

i refuse to watch O'Brien's doc on CNN, and I Like her...

WE HAVE TO CREATE OUR OWN networks. Gina, you continue to show and prove why WHAT ABOUT OUR DAUGHTER's is important.

we have the internet, LET's tell our stories.

TD Jakes? COrnel West? the same folks on the same panels talking the same nonsense.

I have to say this: The Black CHurch has been COMPLICIT in our demise as a community. Compare the churches of today to the churches of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. do the math.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrother OMi

Brother Omi, what do you mean compare the churches of the 40's, 50's and 60's to todays churches when you weren't even born?

Please elaborate.

July 24, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterblog

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