THIS is what they think of your “Black History Month”!!!

You ever heard that a picture is worth a thousand words?

Keiry sent me this picture like she randomly does sometimes because her sister had it sent to her from a friend who was just honestly shopping around their local PathMark. I wish this was one of those photo-shopped viral images designed to be texted around and laughed at (it can still be, and very well may be by now), but this is just truly one of those WTF moments captured in still life.

Last year, it was the NBC breakroom menu that was going around the internet, where the catering staff took it upon themselves to feel like they contributed to the legacy of the month by providing a special rundown of “Soul Food” and the Black choice for bottled water, Aquafina (a.k.a., the cheapest). 

It sparked controversy, as everything Black usually does because we are the most sensitive race on the Planet, and of course, outsiders struggled to wrap their heads around how this assumptive gesture could be taken offensively.

What it really comes down to is the question, is this what we are to the rest of the world?? Can we be narrowed down to a 1-note monolithic idea? Is our culture steeped primarily in singing, dancing and food that started out as the most unhealthy scraps that we turned into damn good-tasting delicacies??? Ironically, the same food that because we’ve been living off for decades, has caused us to develop diseases that pass generation-to-generation almost exclusively to us.

As a Black Man who has never been a fan of what I call “Slave-Food”, I can’t deny that this cuisine is indeed a testament to Black genius and our ability to make marvels out of morsels, or something from nothing, but I refuse to be defined by it when we’ve done soooo much else as a people. And If we’re speaking strictly within the realm of food, why not peanuts? Why not Red Velvet Cake? Foods that we undeniably have added to that are not stigmatized? There’s so many different kinds of “Black”. Then I must remember that excluding our African and Carribean counterparts, the history of the American Black is a very limited one…One that begins with slavery. So maybe this is our foundation. Scary isn’t it?

I understand why other races could be confused as to why something that seems like a good-natured effort to recognize the history of an ethnic group could be taken with such malice, but these implications speak volumes without saying much.

Next time the need is felt to put a sticker on something to celebrate Black History Month, how about a Traffic Light?? That‘ll be the day…

NBC is calling you “Colored”…But in a good way right?

As I sat home intently watching the 62nd Annual Emmy Awards this past sunday, I couldn’t help but notice NBC‘s light attack on my sensibilities every 10 minutes with it’s barrage of commercials unleashing it’s new agenda.

It’s one thing to have to endure the expected network promo and propaganda during a large, star-studded, nationally televised event, but what makes this particular onslaught especially cringe-worthy, is that it was shoving this new agenda in our faces. Our multi-racial, see-thru-your-B.S. faces.

Apparently, the new fall line-up for primetime NBC programming is Hellbent on putting forward a politically correct and diverse spin on things, by loading the slots with shows spearheaded by minorities and members of subcultural demographics. While there’s nothing wrong with that at all, it’s the manner in which NBC is going about it that kept bugging me out. It’s like they just opened a bag and dumped it on the table and said ‘Here! see?? We can be equal oppurtunity too!’. There spilling it all out there like they’re proving a point. As if we’re supposed to commend them for FINALLY reflecting a broader scope of the nation at large.  To top it all off, the slogan behind this new campaign is  “More Colorful”. What The Fuck does that mean???!!!

This tagline was first brought to my attention by my homegirl, The Jaded New Yorker (See her blog here; http://www.thejadednyer.net/), in my post about the show, UnderCovers, starring Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. She pointed out how ridiculously questionable this phrasing was and I felt her eyebrow raise. At first, I shrugged it off…..but after seeing this flash in front of me at least 15 times as I watched an ad spot for a new series about a female U.S. Marshall (Chase) , another one revolving around a Latino Judge (Outlaw, starring Jimmy Smits) , a Comedy about outsourcing that looks like it’s going to be laughing at Southern Asians and Middle Easterners more than laughing with , and finally, a show featuring an overly-dramatic Blair Underwood as a Black president (The Event) , I threw my hands in the air!

It’s more like a quota fill than a new slate. I haven’t seen such a deliberate attempt to attract a new audience and show that a network is in tune since the CW first debuted as the WB and UPN gave us such gems as The Steve Harvey show, Sister Sister and Sparks.

With that said, I’m glad someone’s giving minority actors work, let alone leading roles. It’s really just the marketing that’s killing me a bit. Either way, I’ll still be watching Undercovers and hoping it doesn’t suck or get yanked before it gets good.

Thanks Raquel for foreseeing the wompage.

Spies Like Us! – Boris Kodjoe Heads new J.J. Abrams series

I don’t care how Corny or wack this show may end up being. I’m just amazed that this concept of a Primetime action drama spearheaded by 2 Black leads was greenlighted. By NBC at that. Not MY9, Not BET, Not TVOne.

Let’s just hope that this breaks new ground by crushing the color veil and amassing a diverse prexisting NBC audience with an appetite for spy TV, while avoiding the classification of being a ‘Black show’.

If that can be done, then this show will be a victory and success, no matter how long it runs.

Of course, that’s a bit much to put on the shoulders of Boris Kodjoe and British newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Who’s sure to end up in a Crush Alot post just because of what she is and her name alone). I know Blacks tend to do that alot and make every Negro responsible for representing us, But this stands a good chance. A show created and directed by the golden boy behind the hits Lost and Fringe, J.J. Abrams, adds validation and maybe can draw enough people who wouldn’t normally tune in.

I’m excited a little. It’s like a Black Mr. & Mrs. Smith without the trying to kill each other. And thank God, cause Lords knows that Black men and women do enough of that in REAL life. Glad at the prospect of seeing some Grown Black love on national screens. And even though I’m not a T.V. show watcher, I’ll look at an episode or 2 and hope that it doesn’t get nipped. Hope you will 2. It airs on Wednesday, September 22nd. How fitting that that’s the start of LIBRA season?? The Takeover, The Break’s over!

I’m just surprised that somebody not Black knew who Boris was and gave him some work. And how bad is this chic??! I have a NEW Ideal woman. She’s like Kerry Washington meets Stacey Dash! Yes!!!