How Do I Feel The Media? Essay

How Do I Feel The Media? Essay

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Recently, I participated in a debate about how do I feel the media (television, books, and movies) reflected images I want my children to see. The discussion lead to diversity. I mentioned that children are too busy trying to prove their blackness to embrace diversity. Embracing diversity in my perception has been seen as selling out. As a black woman, I struggle with fitting in. It depends on the crowd. Sometimes I have to surrender my blackness sometimes my feminity.

The television show Blackish lightly treads on issues of proving blackness (black nationalism) and diversity. The show does not take the risk and engage these topics at a deep level. In the midst of “Black Lives Matter,” the importance of this discussion is critical. I realize in college, I made a conscious effort to prove my blackness. I used it as a defense mechanics to keep people away. I used more slang and ebonics in the conversation. Years later at work in a predominately white environment, I clung to the idea of proving my blackness. When my blackness was challenged, my pride caused me to react, and I was terminated as a result of an altercation. The altercation was a result of me trying to prove my hood toughness.

For years, I did code switching I didn’t realize it was a technical term for it. In middle school and high school, I was in a predominately white school district. Before college when I showed an interest in rock and alternative music I was criticized by my mother for being too white. When I spoke proper English again, I was reprimanded for not embracing blackness. In work environments, code switching is necessary to appear professional.

Comedian Kat Williams often jokes in his routines that black people have Negro (politically correct) meet...

... middle of paper ...

...fe Carlton Banks. He was adopted and had been raised by a white family. He didn’t know anything about code switching. He only had one experience. If you read African American literature, you see different classes with the black community, the street people, middle class, and upper class.

One of audience member told us the media is creating a paranoid that is affecting race relations. I believe this to be true. I don’t see stories about middle-class blacks or upper-class blacks. The only black people you see are street people and entertainers and athletes. The entertainers, for the most part, embrace the street culture.

After listening to the panel, I wondered if the “Black experience“ is constructed. Race is a construct. The African American community just like the white community has three social, economic classes. I cannot deny the existence of white privilege.

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