Sans ratings, research, advertisers, music, promotion, syndication, djs, corporations and anything that makes a radio station what it is today, Ebro Darden, not only just became an even more stellar human being, he has become a monumental force in radio programming. He has set the standard for what a TRUE radio programmer is supposed to be and at this point, I can only hope he is prepared for the great things coming his way. I’m sure there have been people in the black and the hip hop community that are not happy with what Darden did but they are trumped by the bigger picture. Hot 97 has just made an incredibly powerful statement. People all over the WORLD are talking about the audio of Darden showing love and acceptance for Mister Cee’s skills over his sexuality and this is very rare in the black community. Mister Cee has been a self-embattled black man who has not been able to come to terms with himself because of his sexuality. I am convinced this is based on what the black church, his family of origin, religion and the black community’s standards and demands are and have always been. Mister Cee is highly respected and talented but he was haunted by a dark secret that he came to war with in the most humiliating way… publicly. Ebro was right, there are other black men who suffer with this same secret some appearing to be the greatest opposers and showing the greatest hatred towards black gay people. Are they angry at black gay people or are they angry because those black gay people are free?
Mister Cee was not only humiliated, laughed at and rejected by MANY people in the black and hip hop community, he was finally ready to give up on himself altogether, quitting the job he had for over 20 years and even speaking in terms of suicide after he felt he let people down. People will say he did it to himself but a person is not in a psychological conflict with himself BECAUSE of himself, it is because of what he has been taught that conflicts with who he knows himself to be. If a person raises themselves on an island with no human contact of any kind he will not be in conflict with himself because he has no external opposition so he is free to BE who he really is.
Ebro Darden helped Mister Cee to see that is was not HIM who let people down, which is why Cee felt the need to hide…it was just the opposite. Yet his guilt and shame was so embedded in his psyche that even after being busted several times he could still not come to terms with his sexuality. That’s something that is incredibly deep-rooted, engrained and drilled into the subconscious. He was still apologizing as if he should be sorry for who he is or like he was subhuman and not worthy of any kind of acceptance until others accepted him. This conversation needed to be heard in the black community. While it was not heard by a black station perhaps there is a lesson in this for urban radio as well. The conversation was not only groundbreaking it was outstanding radio and superb programming. There is no denying that what Ebro, Mister Cee and Hot 97 did was heroic, brave and brilliant radio to say the least.
Sans the black church’s brutal message about gays and DL men even to the point of hypocrisy, it’s no wonder why so few black men go to church, not because they are gay but because they are not stupid. Let me clarify for I am not talking about ALL black churches. I have not been to many but I’m sure thee are some qualified, honest and hardworking ministers out there.
Perhaps this will finally give the world a clearer picture of what a “DL” man REALLY is. Is he an evil predator as the community has assumed over the last couple of decades or is he a man like Mister Cee, so incredibly traumatized and conflicted by his externally perceived negative sexuality by the black church and the black community that he will go to any length to (click “NEXT” above or below for the rest of the story)hide it…even if it destroys him. There have been black celebrities who have BEEN destroyed by this very same thing and are in early graves right now, in addition, I grew up with a girl who’s mother called her an “ugly black B” and a “Ho” every chance she got, guess what the girl grew up to be, hint: not an astronaut.
Through all of this, being arrested and the drag queen, who also has to be in some sort of societal pain by finding joy in putting the final nail in Mister Cee’s reputable coffin filled with dark secrets for personal gain, he was still not able to come to terms with with who he really is. Ironically on some of the younger sites that target the hip hop community the comments attacked Mister Cee while on YouTube the comments absolutely desecrated the drag queen for what was perceived as pure evil for exposing Mister Cee. There are so many mixed messages in all of this, but when you consider all the factors one thing becomes extremely apparent if you understand the concept of statistics, it would appear that the vast majority of people are those in the middle, those who could care less. The greatest conflict is among the opposing sides who are actually in the minority.
Still apologizing as if he owned anyone an apology for who he is? The whole situation speaks volumes for our INSATIABLE need to judge other black people in the black community to make ourselves feel better, even to the point of destruction at which point we collectively shrug our shoulders and blame THEM for their misery when it was US who planted the seed and watered the plant. Why does our community do that?
I know a LOT of programmers especially on the urban side but I literally cannot think of even two that would have done what Ebro did when he reached into his own station and helped his family member and brother in need ON THE AIR. This includes the gay and bisexual programmers. As a matter of fact, I can think of some black programmers that would have even offered Mister Cee a loaded gun when he threatened suicide, I just don’t see how black and conservative can go in the same sentence but to each his own. If I were running a corporation, this would not be the case. A TRUE programmers considers his ENTIRE audience.
The dynamics of this situation are epic because Mister Cee is physically one man, his situation of having an issue with living his truth is akin to hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans. It may not be the same conditions but how many of us leave home each day truly living our truth? Being who we REALLY are? I would venture to say few.
KUDOS to Mister Cee, Hot 97 and Ebro Darden for the best programming segment I have heard in 28 years. You have renewed my faith in radio and opened my eyes to continue to expand. I have not even seen this story in other trades except for one. Hopefully this will open the door for urban programmers to take charge of their stations and the needs of the community instead of depending on research and hits.