Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Bring Back Our Black Family TV Shows

Black Family TV Shows
Rochelle Gonzales
Rochelle Gonzales

OVER the weekend I sat down and took a long hard look at my seven year old who sat in the living room glued to the television watching one of her favourite sitcoms on the Disney Channel.

It wasn’t until she stood up and started acting like one of the characters, a blonde airhead with only her looks and boys on her mind that I had a sudden realization like hit me like a lightning bolt: this was not the image or example that I wanted my little girl to follow.

At that moment, to much protest, I gave her the option to either switch over to the Discovery Channel to learn something worthwhile or to go read the new Black Beauty novel that I’d just bought her that week…she chose the book (Yaay).

After she walked off, I went back to that sudden realization that I had.

We’ve heard all too often that television is a visual poison especially to our children who are so easily influenced and that over the years, more and more shows have been created to programme those young minds into whatever the big corporations want them to become in a bid to fill their own pockets.

But in reality, as many times as we’ve heard the sayings and seen the blatant signs, how seriously do we take them? How often does the information go in through one ear and out the other? How quick are we to plop the children in front of the TV to watch their favourite programmes just so that we can have those rare 30 minutes of peace or to get a chance to cook or just do whatever it is that we need to get done around the house? How many times have those same programmes served us as a huge convenience?

I then started to question: why is it that 99.9% of these programmes centered around white perfect families or at schools with happy white singing children with the odd black person popping in and out as the one of the gang or the nerdy, weird friend.

Now before the pitchforks are raised calling for the head of the racist…hold your brakes!

I have absolutely NO issues with white people…at allll but here’s what’s up the tree that I’m barking at.

Firstly, you know me and my bad habit of over sharing about my life so again, here’s a little inside information…my daughter is dark skinned. In fact she has a beautiful dark velvety complexion, however, she hates it…she thinks that she’s too dark and the fact that her baby brother is a “shabin” with brown hair and light brown (sometimes green and sometimes grey) eyes does not help.

I’m always telling her how beautiful she is and showing her programmes and photos with beautiful dark skinned people but then she’d watch those Disney shows where people like her are nowhere to be found…not even in the cartoons and all my praises go out the window…sigh.

Anyway, back to my point. I had the privilege of growing up seeing black people who were successful, making me happy to be who I am.

The Cosby Show – successful black family, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air – successful black family, The Jeffersons – successful black family, Thea, Family Matters, Desmonds, Smart Guy, Sister Sister, Moesha…all programmes with successful black families giving off positive life messages…where are programmes like these?

See where I’m going now?

That lightning bolt realization showed me that our little black boys and girls are no longer watching programmes showing their worth but instead are being fed that they are either second fiddle, not good enough to be the lead or that they need to look a certain way to be accepted. Then they flip over and see their kind being killed, arrested and targeted negatively because of their skin colour thus reaffirming that they are not good enough.

And here’s the icing on top of the cake, when they are featured in programmes where they are the lead, (now these I know are not for children but work with me here) they’re adulteresses sleeping with the President of the United States and coming from murderous families or successful lawyers who are…adulteresses and more programmes with adultery and murder etc…is that all we’re good at?

And let’s not forget the music. Whilst my daughter is dressing like the long haired, blue eyed, white smiles in the music videos, I find myself relieved that she’s not watching her own kind teaching her how to roll her bottom or that women of her complexion are whores and this and that…that, my friends, also saddens me to the core that that’s all there is to “our” music.

It is no wonder why the older generations view the younger ones as aliens because their minds are totally programmed to not see the value of themselves as black children.

We wonder why our children grow up to either act like as they call them “coconuts” (black on the outside but white on the inside…whatever that is supposed to mean) or as criminals…that’s the either or that they are faced with.

Now I know it’s not all black and white…no pun intended. There is a grey area where children step outside the box and grow up strong minded, independent, proud and on the straight path…in fact, those numbers are plentiful but my plight is for the children who fall into the net. One alone is too many.

Now I have and will continue to fight to ensure that my children know that they are future kings and queens but I still worry about that force coming from that flat rectangle in my living room.

Will there ever be new shows like the old ones? I doubt, but hey, a girl can dream right?

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...

 

6 Comments

  1. This is a bit of a lightweight article, suited to a frivolous glossy magazine.

    Anyway, television has changed since all those all those shows you talk about. Sitcoms are not made as much as they used to. People are less likely to sit down and watch them. Lucians could do with less time in front of electronic devices and more time learning to read.

    Lucians are consumers not creators. That’s why there is so much slackness on the island. Many take their cue from US hip hop idiots.

    1. Yeah, the point of this article just flew right over your head. This problem goes far beyond our tiny rock…this is worldwide. Black, in fact ethnic people across the globe are being short changed and devalued and as much as this is blatant with all the killings and violence towards us, it is also being programed into us subliminally through the tv shows and contrary to your beliefs, the sitcoms are still very much in production and popular but they’re not the kinds that our generation is used to. Yes as much as Lucians need to read more, maybe if they knew their worth as ethnics then they would realise that they need to step up and do better for themselves rather than live up to the expectations of the non-ethnic cynics of the world. Get your head out of the sand Yeah and look at the real picture instead of nit picking smh

  2. The picture of bill Cosby is BAD NEWS. The guy is a serial rapist – is this the best poster-boy for family values ? Anyway, most of the Planet has been victimized by White Supremacy – Blacks, Africans, Indians, Arabs, Men, Women you name it, are victims of the eight-thousand pound gorilla in the World – GOD IS WHITE.

    I am reading your article and like most victims of white supremacy you call the Caucasian, “WHITE” people, but not before apologizing for speaking the truth: “I have absolutely NO issues with white people…at allll but…” see Rochelle, you more than most people should know the significance of language. Caucasians are just that; nothing “WHITE” about the defect of the absence if melanin, but since you are that unconscious I will educate in a little while.

    Of course you are not as brain-damaged like a Peter Josie who thinks Chocolate Complexion women are too ugly to be carnival queen contestants, but unless people of African Ancestry take time to understand the evil of the Caucasian Religion that teaches White Supremacy – God is a so-called “WHITE MAN”, who had only one child – a Caucasian Male who saved the Africans from the “DARK CONTINENT”, they will continue to hate themselves, since the work of teaching the Black Child that she is ugly and inferior by the evil Caucasian is accomplished even before the child knows who she is, as is shown in the video below.

    Take a stand for yourself and your children’s dignity –

  3. cont.

    Stop teaching them that God is a NAKED “white man” who loved them so much that he killed himself, therefore you have to eat his flesh and drink his blood like a frigging cannibal. God is not a man, woman, spirit, or anything in Creation; there is God and everything else is is creation – the visible and invisible.

    Here’s a video that may help you, and your answer is not with the Huxterbles/Bill Cosby.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK0xrXBWpgo

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  4. Rochelle:

    I have a video of of another brain-damaged Negro who changed his name from CARASCO TO RICK JOHN WAYNE because he thought the name Carasco was too black or not white enough. This Old Negro goes around the world telling people that he is a Roman CA-TOE-LIC and a Member of the British Empire. Now you think your beautiful daughter is being bombarded with bad TV, take a look at what Carasco looked like before he changed to his “white” name Ricky John Wayne, and tell me, with such unconscious skin-bleaching Negroes feeding our children information do you really think any black child is safe from the Inferiority Complex ? Now go to church and beg the white God to love you because you’re doing your best to look white by chemically treating your hair because you now have the “WHITE GIRL FLO” LMAO.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHfRmrY5smw

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  5. Words of a Caucasian:

    “I am a white man.

    I am racist.

    But that’s kind of redundant.

    It’s like saying, “I am a fish, and I am soaking wet.”

    In some ways, I can’t help it. I don’t even notice it. I live my life immersed in a world of white privilege that most of the time I frankly can’t even see.

    Some of you will say I’m putting too much emphasis on race. We’re all the same under the skin. We shouldn’t bring up the topic of racism. It just makes things worse.

    Easy for you to say! You’re on top of the social food chain! If we don’t talk about the inherent inequalities entrenched in the system, nothing will change. Us, white folks, will continue to benefit, and black folks will continue to get the short end of the stick.

    One of the biggest obstacles to solving racism is its invisibility – to white folks.

    We’re shielded from it because its negative effects don’t reach us, and its positive effects to us are either shrugged off or we assume we deserve them.

    https://gadflyonthewallblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/i-am-racist-and-if-youre-white-you-probably-are-too/

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