I remember growing up in the late 80s, early 90s and being immersed in Blackness, Black Pride and Black Struggle. We had options to our imagery. There was A Different World which used to make me want to go to an HBCU. There was The Cosby Show that made me want to have a beautiful Black family when I grew up. There was Queen Latifah singing about U.N.I.T.Y. and a whole group of hip hop stars demanding the end of Self Destruction. Of course, there was Menace II Society, Boyz N The Hood and Juice and also Malcolm X, Do The Right Thing and Poetic Justice. The Soul Train Awards was popping; Tupac asked us to keep our heads up and Janet Jackson was demanding a Rhythm Nation. And then, something happened, around the year 2000. The variety of programs went off the air and we were only left with negative imagery of us in mainstream media. There were a few specks of light here and there but not in an overwhelming amount like before. Even with the historic presidency of Barack Obama, the tides didn’t change much until now. A subtle revolution is brewing and it reminds me of my childhood and who knows? It may push as hard as the 60s. The energy is shifting greatly and seems to be growing rapidly. Below is a list of 10 current events that happened in the media since the beginning of this year alone that screams Black pride, Black solidarity, Black protest, and Black harmony. Granted, some of these moments may be attributed to February being Black History Month; however, most of these stories stretch beyond the 29 days and send a bold message for the future.
Click on each moment for further details about the stories.
- When Beyonce Knowles and Kendrick Lamar showed Black pride on two of the biggest platforms in America.
- When Jada Pinkett-Smith & Spike Lee boycotted the Oscars due to the lack of diversity and inclusion
- When Creed director, Ryan Coogler decided to have a #JusticeforFlint free event the same night as the Oscars
- When Russell Simmons had his own award show dedicated to people of color in the arts
- When independent media company, Black and Sexy had an epic debate on Black films on Oscars night
- When Melissa Harris-Perry walked off her job at MSNBC
- When Black Lives Matter movement interrupted a presidential candidate
- When the White House hosted a dance workshop with Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Judith Jamison, Debbie Allen, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Fatima Robinson
- When ABC’s primetime TV show, Blackish gave their most honest and riveting episode on police brutality and racism
- When comedian and host, Chris Rock, bluntly said that Hollywood was “sorority racist” to this year’s Oscars audience
So what do you make of this? Do you think a revolution is brewing? Or do you think this movement will be stagnant sooner or later? Let’s talk about it!