Thursday, July 23, 2009

my two cents on "black in america 2" discussions...

for the record: i wasn't disappointed by BIA 2. it did exactly what i expected - take a few issues that cnn has identified as pertinent to the "black community" in an attempt to humanize the struggles of individuals daily affected by structural inequalities such as race and class. i even found myself slightly amused by their illustration of 21st century racial uplift and u.s. north american discourses of individualism and progress.

i was especially curious to see what critical analyses women of the qbg community had to offer. however, reading the twitter conversation left me somewhat disappointed. while i share a similar cynicism as it relates to the mainstream media, i felt that the tone of the discussion crossed the line of sarcasm and became mean and unproductive at several points. yes, attacks on bad weaves and soledad's racial identification may be fun in practice. but beyond this, at the end of the day, how might such dialogues inspire new strategies for ending the oppression of women, poor people, queer people, and people of color struggling around the world? if this isn't an appropriate way to depict what it means to be black in america, how would we rewrite the narrative?

i guess my point is that beyond the pleasure that comes from poking fun at the limited representations of blacks (or what will and jada were thinking to allow their son to star in a mc donald's commercial) there is a real reason for our frustrations. and i believe that a discussion of these frustrations that is critical and proposes strategies for social change is the best response for creating a world that counters such programs...

another perspective with interesting reader feedback:

p.s. Moya and i have decided to create a documentary that presents an alternative view of what it means to be "black in america" - one that highlights ethnic differences within the "black community", the existence of queer communities, how class politics presents a limited model of success, black relationships, and gentrification... thoughts?


shewhostruggles said...

sounds amazing lex. I'd be down to get some folks together on the west to help.

Luna said...

if you are located on the west coast,
i'd definitely be down to help.