Last night after I watched the doc, I thought it was pretty good. This morning when I awoke , I didn’t feel the same. I mean, it was great to see the stories of Black folks, and I know that 2 hours is not that much time, and I also know that it was made for CNN’s White viewership. I appreciated the stories, but decided that if I were a part of the demographic, let’s say a White conservative, I probably wouldn’t have received it well. They didn’t provide context for the “situations” that Black folks are in, and I think it was necessary.
Ex. #1: Black Family reunion with White family members; White Great Great Grandfather had 2 families, one with White wife and other with Black Mistress who was not a slave (which they stated clearly). White Conservatives see: their Black Great Great Grandmother was a “ho”. Reality when put in context: I don’t care whether she had slave papers or not, because of the power dynamic in the 1800′s, that Black woman was being raped by that man. Remember, women didn’t even have basic rights then, and this was a Black woman. A one sentence mention of this power dynamic would have helped to frame this properly.
Ex #2: The Black high school drop out rate is much higher than that of White students. White Conservatives see: Black people are dumb and just can’t make the cut. Reality when put in context: They mentioned substandard schools, but didn’t address that even at top high schools the drop out rate for Blacks is higher. The issue is that racism is still prevalent in schools, and Black kids are automatically pegged as being dumb, so they are not encouraged and they are not expected to achieve. Could we have gotten some voiceovers giving us some possible explanations of why the rate is so high?
Ex #3: Black women choose to date only Black men and because of that most are single and will never get married. White Conservatives see: Black women are racist and don’t want to date outside their race to their own detriment (trust me, White people throw around this “reverse racism” like candy). Reality when put in context: We definitely can be more open, but they didn’t mention that out of everyone, Black women and Asian men have been determined in multiple studies to be the least desirable by other races for relationships. That means our choices are not limited solely by us.
Again, I appreciate the documentary, but I think that providing context for the specific issues of Black Americans even if brief would have served the documentary and its audience well. I’m sure that the conservative bloggers are buzzing this morning saying everything negative that they can about Black America and using this documentary as ammunition.