Where Art Thou?

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin, Sanford & Son, Good Times, The Jeffersons, 227, Sister Sister, Living Single, Different Storkes, What’s Happening!, Moesha, The Cosby Show, A Different World…

Didn’t those show titles just take you back down memory lane? Keyword, MEMORY. None of the abovementioned television shows air anymore, unless it’s a rerun. Remember when Black television shows were HOT at one point?  I remember coming home from school, doing my homework, doing my chores and sitting in front of the TV at 8pm to see what Moesha was up to! Or even waking up on a Saturday and hearing Rerun say “HEY hey HEY” and doing his classic dance moves on the show, What’s Happening! I remember way BACK in the day I could browse the tv stations and see MORE than ONE Black show holding it down on the main networks during primetime hours…but not anymore.

BET introduced new shows, Reed Between the Lines and Let’s Stay Together, and  resurrected the show, The Game. When the shows first aired, users on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks demanded that people tune in and “support” the comedies. It was refreshing to see scripted tv series since we’ve been inundated with non-reality shows such as Basketball Wives, Real Housewives of Atlanta, etc. Although some people prefer the drama of reality tv, others tuned in to the new shows BET had to offer.

A friend of mine told me she and her son walked in their home, turned on the television and her son paused. He saw a Black person on the screen and just…paused. That’s sad. Seeing a Black person on a scripted series is such an anamaly that people pause and pay attention because someone actually looks like them on the screen.

The same is true for movies. We pay attention to our films since they’re so far and few. There was so much promotion for the movie, “Think Like a Man” that I couldn’t wait until the movie was released so I wouldn’t hear about it anymore. It was a great film, nonetheless, but we promote the hell out of our movies so that it’s so ingrained in our minds and we feel like we MUST support it to get love at the box office and love from our Black audience. We can usually depend on a couple Tyler Perry films per year. People are usually stuck between “should I see the movie?” or “Let me go to the theater just to support the film.” It’s a good thing that the Black audience always try to prove that we do support our films, but it’s bad that we have to scream “support!!!” in order for our films to receive recognition from ANY audience.

In all, there’s a demise of Blacks on television and film. Makes me ask, where art thou Black television shows? Where art thou Black films? We definitely need more OPTIONS.

Do you think it’s from lack of funding? Lack of support? Also, what is your favorite Black film or tv series?

~Ashley Caprice

Follow me: @AshleyCaprice

Like me: Ashley Caprice

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