Where do I begin. I’m going to try to make this succint as possible, and hopefully none of my thoughts will get lost in the process.
Last night’s installment of CNN’s Black In America 2 touched upon a few interesting issues. The first issue at hand was the ‘downfall’ of the black family. They threw around a few statistics in regards to divorce rates, children born out of wedlock and absentee fathers in the black family. We were also introduced to the Barnes Family, from the DC area, who were struggling in their 21 year marriage. Tina Barnes cited a lack of communication, and her husband, James Barnes, agreed with the fact that he wasn’t a good communicator. Hmmm, let me be sexist for a minute and say, well he’s a man, what do you expect? I also found it interesting that one of their biggest disagreements centered around their two daughters and dating. Tina wanted to be a little more relaxed with the rules and obviously didn’t mind that their daughters were dating, but James wasn’t having it. Do you blame him? Wow, who would have thunk that a black man didn’t want to see his daughters becoming a notch on some negroes belt? Kudos to James, obviously Tina was looking forward to the possibilities of becoming a grandmother than to keeping her marriage alive. Tina & James sought out counseling from Nisa Muhammad, who also came from a failed marriage, and runs a marriage counseling practice called “Wedded Bliss”. In the end, the couple managed to save their marriage, at least for now, but here was an opportunity for CNN to discuss the black “middle class” that has been seemingly left out of the series.
The Barnes’ are from the Maryland area, living in the suburbs and raising their two daughters. On top of their two full-time jobs, they took on a part-time job delivering newspapers to better provide for their family. Which is what was putting stress on their marriage as well. The middle class area that the Barnes’ are from is suffering from layoffs, foreclosures and debt. So as this family is struggling to provide for each other, their marriage is struggling in the process. I think a lot of the stress of their marriage, could possibly be linked to economics, but CNN didn’t touch on that either.
What would a show be without showing the ills of society without mentioning the black criminal?
Queue, the hip hop music and here comes Chris Shurn from Oakland, California. Hall’s being “Black In America” starts off with him being behind bars for a drug sentence, but upon his release he seeks help through Project Choice, a program in Oakland that is trying to keep recidivism rates low. In the State of California, there isn’t much help for an ex-convict once they’re released from jail. You’re basically assed out, because public assistance is not available to you, once you’ve been convicted of a crime. Also, try finding a job with a criminal record, that’s next to impossible. But here’s where Chris’ story was a bit different. He was able to find a job, making $10 an hour part-time, which is better than no job at all. Here’s where Chris’ story takes a turn though. Chris goes out & makes a baby. Chris goes out and quits his job because he’s not making enough. Brian is living with his girlfriend, who’s barely bringing in enough money to support the family. I’d rather call Chris, “Dumbass in America”. Eventually Chris finds another part-time job paying $12 an hour. But I knew where this story was going.
Queue, the nightly news about a robbery that took place. Yup, Chris, returned back to crime. I’m not going to point fingers and blame anyone but Chris. He made the choice to participate in the robbery and had to suffer the consequences of returning to jail.
But how could this have been prevented?
If I’m not mistaken, did I miss any discussion on possible preventive measures? Sure there’s the Project Choice program, but they can only do but so much, when state/federal laws don’t aide in helping criminals rehabilitate.
I’m wondering how easy would it have been for CNN to say to Brian, “Hey, let us help you find a full-time job, since we’re following you around for weeks with a camera”.
There’s a saying, Don’t Talk About It, Be About It!
25 cent bag of potato chips.
Well damn, thanks CNN, you have proven that black kids in the ghetto loves them some fried chicken, which is why they’re fat asses and why black people have high obesity rates. Yes, heart disease & obesity plague the black community and being physically fit is something everyone should strive for. What I find interesting is the weight guidelines and charts you can easily find on the internet. If I went by what those charts suggest, being that I’m 5’10, I should be about 135 lbs, mid-range would be 145, and OVERWEIGHT would be 176. So basically my size 10 is now considered overweight. I truly think there are tons of discrepancies when it comes to judging what’s a healthy weight from thes charts that are basically catering to another demographic, then what is more adequate for people with different body frames. I’m sorry, but white peole and black people are built differently.
CNN’s Black in America 2 series ended on a very anti-climatic tone, with Emmit Tyler Perry’s story. Sure, I’ll give it to the man, who loves dressing like a woman, that he’s a savy business man, but, when was the last time Tyler Perry watched a Tyler Perry movie? Who would have thunk that bringing the chitlin circuit to the big screen would be so profitable.
And then the series just ends.
Anti-climatic and all.
I sat there for a minute wondering, “Uh, was that it?”.
So there you have it folks. All that you’ve ever wanted to know about being “Black In America” was ended by focusing on a man who’s made his career out of being a not-so-funny fat woman in drag.