2010 is here and I gotta say it feels a lot like 1960. A product of DC Public Schools, I spent every February helping the teacher break out the old projector and play those Black History filmstrips with the accompanying record narrated by someone who himself sounded like a slave.
Back in the 60’s we were never on television unless we were playing a mammy, a stereotype, in blackface or just being the buffoon for comic relief. Apparently Black people didn’t like that. In the 90’s we put that behind us. We had Martin, Roc, Living Single, The Sinbad Show, In the House, The Fresh Prince, In Living Color, A Different World, The Cosby Show, Thea, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Family Matters, Amen, NY Undercover, and the list goes on. Talk shows: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Arsenio, Vibe, and Magic Johnson. We even had black cartoons. MC Hammer had a cartoon, Salt-N-Pepa, Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson (Prostars), Kid n’ Play…they were giving out black shows back then.
Then something happened. It’s kinda like the dinosaurs. No one knows for sure what happened, but science is working to figure it out. From what we can tell, the Black world of entertainment was destroyed by at least two entities: BET and Tyler Perry Productions! Now that is coonery at the highest level. I mean, if you’re not at least a level four African-American, you don’t even want to come into contact with either of those. I’m serious. If you take one follicle of Tyler Perry’s hair and mix it with one drop of water from the fountain at BET, in three days you’ll have a slave.
For the sake of humanity we have to keep BET and Tyler Perry separate. They cannot come into contact with each other. If Meet the Browns or House of Payne airs on BET, the moon will fall out of the sky. It’ll be like crossing the streams on Ghostbusters or feeding a gremlin a midnight snack while giving him a bath. So all jokes aside, if you see Tyler Perry anywhere near 106 and Park or maybe you see him walking down the street over on the Brentwood side of DC where BET’s headquarters is…Chris Brown that dude! Forget do better; you’ll be doing best if you take him out on sight.
So anyway, back to my original point: Where are the Black shows in 2010. I don’t have cable. I didn’t need cable in 1995 to see a Black show. I shouldn’t need it now. You know who I blame? Obama! I like Obama, I really do. I wouldn’t have stood out in six degree weather for ten hours on Inauguration Day if I didn’t. I’d be the first to hit a Coming to America move and put that brother on a quarter or something. I’m just mad that someone voted to trade all of our Kool-Aid points for one Black president. It’s like that dumb little kid on the playground who trades all his toys for one sticker. I’ll trade you the Teen Summit era of BET, UPN, all the good Black shows, Michael Jackson and credit for the first Black golfer if you give me one Black President. Oh, and I want a Disney cartoon where the main character is Black and you can’t Cleveland Show me and use auditory-blackface either like they did in the Lion King.