Home 2007thru2010 Why I Can’t Watch Black in America 2

Why I Can’t Watch Black in America 2


Radio Facts: Over the last few days I have been going to do my usual afternoon run at the gym and they have had Black in America 2 on TV. I have noticed the show has been draining me. I'm not a big TV watcher but there is something about that production that I actually find depressing. There is something about the show that takes me back to my upbringing growing up in the ghetto in Buffalo, New York. Something I would get shock treatment to forget. I absolutely DESPISE the ghetto with a passion and people who say they love it have to be a hair shy of mental illness if you ask me. I have avoided that kind of extreme negativity at all costs since I got out over 20 years ago. I think it's why I had to leave Atlanta because I saw it there too. I am amazed that members of my family still insist on living around that sh….

Then I was thinking it could be the subject matter itself. From my perspective, I get all kinds of things in my email box to run in the blog. The other day, someone sent me a video of a black girl fighting in her neighborhood ghetto projects and all the black men and women and boys and girls stood there watching and filming the sh…. The girl's mother tried to come over and break it up and 2 teen-aged girls beat her ass (laugh) while the crowd cheered. When I see that kind of sh…, it makes me wonder what the fook black people are talking about when they say how badly white people treat us. Sure, racism CERTAINLY exist. I just experienced some the other day by someone at a major record label but why doesn't anybody EVER talk about the horrific way black people treat EACH OTHER????

Maybe I am just getting older and I'm getting burnt out on the woe is me concept for Blacks, when I have seen some of the most HORRIFIC things done to blacks BY black people. Then it could be the panels CNN is using. Mostly wealthy celebrity black people who haven't taken a stroll in the ghetto since 1973 and who are so removed from TRUE black culture it's almost comical. Who in the FOOK are they to talk about what it's like to be Black in America when they have done everything they could to escape the ghetto too.

After I saw the segment with Tom Joyner and Steve Harvey I had to stop watching it. I immediately thought about all the young black radio announcers who will never have an opportunity to pursue their dreams because all the radio slots are taken around the country by them. Is it their fault?   I don't know. Then I had to realize that perhaps I am indeed bitter because I was one of the Radio DJs who paid heavy dues and did what I was told by black owners and never got the shot I deserved.   Then I had to ask myself if I really wanted it. The answer… NO. I have NEVER liked working on the air or for black owned radio stations… I did it because I could that's just about it. I was good but I never LOVED it…especially after working for a white corporate station where I saw how a DJ should REALLY be treated. I can honestly tell you from experience, white announcers are treated WAY better than black announcers. You probably already think that but I KNOW it for sure!!! If I were Tom or Steve I'd be doing the same thing. I had to realize that. It's one thing to go and ask Radio One for a job, it's another thing to have Radio One offer you one. When you have to ask, you will NEVER have the power, control and leverage that the person THEY ask will have. Perhaps, I surmised, Black in America 2 is a downer for me because I feel like I am not being all that I myself can be!!!

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  1. I find it interesting that none of your piece focused on any of the actual content in Black In America 2. I saw the documentary segments, but haven’t seen the town hall meeting with Steve Harvey and Tom Joyner. I didn’t see any “woe as me” as you call it in most of the stories of the people profiled. But, I find it interesting that you seem to be seething at the thought of “ghetto life” but have mentioned nothing constructive to fix or change the situation. Leaving and judging the people you’ve left behind does nothing to help anyone, not even ourselves. None of the example you used remotely resemble the aspects that they highlighted in the stories, so I have a hard time wrapping my mind around your anger at the exsitance of a documentary series you seem not to have seen in it’s entirety. It seems to have more to do with your personal issues with two radio personalities that have the career opportunities you don’t have or don’t want than the actual content of Black In America 2.

  2. I missed my window of opportunity too Kevin, so part-time weekends will have to do for now. However syndication is a cost effective way for stations to save money, prime example Marc Clarke and the Big Phat Morning Show, Radio One cut that show up with surgical precision, but Frank Ski & Wanda seem to have avoided the stealth axe so why do you think that is the case?

  3. Kevin,

    I think you may be too hard on yourself, with regards to your radio experiences. I do enjoy your being brutally honest about you “not” enjoying working for Black Owned stations. I have many good and bad experiences working for Black Owned stations. As far as the CNN special, I need to view it a couple of times so that I can evaluate its merits. Anywho, keep up the good blog work! I am a fan of your talent and tenacity. Take care and God bless.

  4. Response to 1 and 2. I never said all the content of Black in America was bad, I was just saying it has taken me to a place of deeper thought and perhaps that’s a good thing. I am not jealous of anyone and I don’t want to be Tom or Steve. They can have it. I feel for the young black announcer who will not get a chance because there are no opportunities.

    Response 2. I think Marc’s problem was he worked for Radio One. Frank and Wanda work for CBS and V103 KNOWS not to play with that show. If they put a syndicated show in that slot like Tom or Steve the backlash would be enormous. Radio One is all about saving money, I’m not sure if “developing talent” is a priority for them.

  5. The very same reasons you gave for NOT watching that program, should be the reasons why YOU SHOULD watch it. You’ve seen the struggle, you’ve lived the struggle. Know that others have struggled as well. Many still do. Some folks embrace the ghetto, others simply exist within it. Personally I don’t know the ghetto, other than stories of friends who do, and what I’ve read or seen on tv. My family was the first Black family in an all white neighborhood. My introduction to the “N” word took place in that neighborhood. My uncle was the first Black Station Manager and later GM at a once white radio station, that to this day is all Black. I understand how it seems Tom and Steve may be part of a system that has locked others out, but don’t hold that against them. It could be worst, these spots could be held by two white guys in 2009. Don’t think for one minute they did not pay dues! And they are still paying dues today to keep their spots. Maybe not the kind of dues you or I might have to pay, but dues all the same. So join in and watch the program, you might learn something. I did! I learned that the chick who founded the Tuxedo Ball is whupped something awful! Yet she stood there talking down, (I felt), to less affluent African Americans. That I found to be laughable. lol


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