Monday, September 1, 2014
How does this benefit anybody, Centric?
There's this channel I never noticed I had before called "Centric," which advertises itself as "the Channel for Black Women." Ok. And today it's running a Roots marathon. That's BETTER than Ok- everyone my age remembers religiously watching the original miniseries during it's 1977 airing- and talking about it in school the next day. I didn't know a single person who wasn't watching it during it's original run- Not a Single Person. In fact, I remember my history classes being worked around the miniseries, and the regular curriculum being set aside for discussion for as long as it was on and for quite some time afterwards.
The term "groundbreaking" is criminally overused, but this series was truly groundbreaking. The term "important television" is just as overused. This was- and is- important television. I would argue that it's one of the very few television programs that absolutely MUST be watched by anyone who wants to understand the history of Africans in America- and the history of Europeans in America for that matter.
The second clip is from an advertisement being shown during commercial breaks. Ugh, what a freaking shame. Talk about mixed messages. So during an uplifting show about the unconquerable spirit of an entire race of people who overcame immense obstacles to achieve something close to equality (not there yet,) we are treated to a trailer for a movie which celebrates every stupid, disgusting stereotype attached to that race in order to justify dismissing it.
Great job, Centric, "The Channel for Black Women." I'm sure there are plenty of women- black and white- who are happy to have their kids watch this wonderful series,* and also appalled at having to subject them to even a few seconds of House Party 3. Two steps forward, one step back. As far as I'm concerned, there's still room for a "Channel for Black Women," because Centric just disqualified itself by making me jump for the mute button during every break to avoid being assaulted by blatantly racist crud.
*Of course, you've stuffed the damn thing so full of commercials that Chicken George doesn't save his family from the injustices of the Reconstruction South until 1 AM, so maybe it doesn't matter that we were reluctant to let kids watch anyway. You might have cut down the ads a bit so that it could end at a half-decent hour, but that would have deprived us not only of House Party 3 ads but also countless others for unbelievably bad looking "original programing" featuring black people making total asses of themselves. So a double fail, Centric.