Last night, which was one of the rare occasions I’ve been home on a weeknight, I had an opportunity to watch re-runs of one of my FAVORITE shows growing up, “Living Single”. (I’m sure I’ve given you my history with this show before.) And it got me to thinking about one of my favorite shows from my young adulthood, “Girlfriends”. I tweeted, “The early 90s had “Living Single”; the late 90s-early 2000s had “Girlfriends”. What do we have now???” I was sadly met with replies that included, “Basketball Wives and RHOA”, “Nothing”, and (my fave from big blogging cousin OneChele), “Reruns”. Once I read their tweets and really digested their responses, I wanted to cry. Unfortunately, I don’t see myself, a late 20s/early 30s single lady and her friends and life portrayed on TV. No, I’m not the girl who’s the singer or dating a rapper or is looking for my 15 minutes of fame and will do darn near anything to get more screen time. I’m just a simple girl with real life problems but who really has no complaints.
Now, I want to be very careful (because I would like to have this person visit us again), but I respectfully disagree with some of Brian White’s recent remarks in an interview he did with “Hello Beautiful” magazine. No, I did not listen to the audio, but I did read the article and was stunned by what I saw. First, let me say that I am a Black woman who was raised by a Black woman and have Black women in my family and in my circle. I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that NONE of the Black women in my circle behave as the women (or characters) in some of these reality shows. I did tweet to Brian a while back that I do watch these shows but would not let my (imaginary) children watch them. Why? Because I know the difference between reality and fiction. And I keep my life drama-free; that’s why I watch it on television. I’m not saying these women don’t exist; I’m saying they don’t exist in my circle, and I definitely don’t believe they represent the majority of Black women.
I also don’t know if I agree that Tyler Perry is holding a mirror up to Black America with characters like Angela from “Why Did I Get Married?” But I will mention that I really think people are WAY too hard on TP about Madea. I mean, does anybody give crap to Rickey Smiley for impersonating a “church lady” with the morning announcements on his morning show or Steve Harvey for his antics as “Sister Odell”? Anyway, I’m getting off track….
I will say that positive images of Black people are missing on network television. I am happy to see that Shonda Rhimes created a new show for ABC titled “Scandal”. One of my favorite actresses, Kerry Washington, will be the star. And the show is based in DC! 🙂 But, I’m not an investigator impersonating a lawyer, so she’s not me in that sense, but I am anxiously awaiting to see what this show brings.
I’ve decided that my 30th year is going to be a year of new, exciting changes in my life. One thing I would like to add to that is writing, on a serious basis. It can be a book/short film/sitcom/web series…just something to show my life portrayed for the masses to see. Like I told my “friends” on Facebook who were going in on “Red Tails” (another post for another day), if you don’t like something, make constructive suggestions…or just do it yourself. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.
Bloggers Note: As I began writing, this post took on a life of its own and totally went in a direction I didn’t know it was going to go. So Part Two will most likely focus on what I really set out to blog about in the first place.