June 7, 2011 2 Comments
Black women have no role models on TV anymore. It is pretty sad. After decades of fighting and breaking down doors to go against racial archetypes portrayed in black media, it was finally during the 1980s that the representation of black women took a turn for the better. Black women in media evolved from the mammies, maids, Blaxploitation sex symbols, or ghetto-stricken mothers, and now we were lawyers, doctors, teachers, businesswomen, and entrepreneurs. These new powerful images were a much more accurate representation of what it meant to be black, educated, and a woman. And if by chance this was not the environment in which you lived, at the very least it set a great example and a standard of what black womanhood should look like.
….And then VH1 came along. And I am not sure if the turning point was the first season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta or the fact that Black America fell silent when shows like The Cosby Show, Living Single, A Different World, and New York Undercover were never replaced with new shows that were on that same continuum of portraying minorities in a positive light not only in our communities but in the world at large.
Successful shows like Soul Food and Girlfriends* that displayed black sisterhood have been replaced with Single Ladies, Real Housewives, and The Game. Black family shows are in its entirety in the hands of Tyler Perry. We have GOT to do better…especially the ones that know better. We can’t continue to support trash just because a black face is on it. At this point, I am not sure if we want better…or do even we remember what better looks like.