So I was watching episode 5 of #blackAF titled “yo, between you and me… this is because of slavery” and despite the show’s slow progression, it led me down a rabbit hole of questions that honestly, I may not have the answers to.
- Should Black people be allowed to make bad media? I mean yes, there have been many and I mean many terrible shows and films that white people have made and those people were allowed to then create more both good and bad so equality says we should be allowed to do the same.
- Should we support bad Black media, just because it is Black? Yes and no. I think you should stay clear of critical reviews for something you are excited to see because often reviews are extremely subjective and sites like Rotten Tomatoes measures consensus, not the effect a show/film may have on you. Basically if out of 100 people 70 thought a movie was an 8/9 but 30 thought it was a 2/3 the consensus will be somewhere in the middle and you may be discouraged in watching it without thinking that you could be a part of the 70 group and be entertained.
- Should movies that are written and starring (aka the main cast) Black people be reviewed by white people? I mean will they understand the symbolism, the vernacular, the tension being felt? Some things are just so culturally specific.
- Should shows or films that star Black people show their reflection of said diverse cast in the writers’ room to avoid stereotyping/typecasting and/or ignoring Black character development? I’m not pointing fingers *cough* The Flash *cough*
- Should more award shows be developed for Black people on an international level? So Black media from across the globe can get the recognition they deserve. That would help with viewership numbers by the way. Because I hate to break it to Black Americans but there are more Black people across the world, so instead of trying to be the gatekeepers of Black media, maybe open the door so ALL Black people feel included. Cause I remember Black people raging because Dolemite Is My Name, Queen & Slim and Us didn’t get the recognition they deserved but I only saw Africans fighting over Lionheart’s Oscar treatment. I also didn’t see non-Africans gearing up to see Queen Sono either.
So this might be extremely biased, but Black people need to get involved in media that is not just dramatic, action or comedy. There is this whole world of fantasy and sci-fi that Black people are exploring and writing on and it would be great to see films/shows that have Black-driven casts as werewolves, vampires, witches (although Prudence Night scratches my itch), elves, dwarves, fairies and pixies (fairies and pixies are different, ask me how later), we could involve Black history and old Black folk tales. Is just me? I feel like some escapism sometimes. I guess I have kind of gotten tired of us pushing out the same content.
I don’t know about you but I have often thought that if we removed white people out the conversation and engaged with each other more it would make it a lot easier for us to engage with ourselves over the issues we have in our community like colorism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism etc.
Look I don’t have all the answers and my position on things may change but with all that being said, I am glad we are having this conversation because this means we are evolving. Hopefully we can move a little faster.