[9:00] Welcome to NewsOne’s liveblog of CNN’s Black in America 2. Turn on CNN now, watch with us, and refresh this page every few minutes for updates. Chime in with your thoughts in the comments!
[9:03] Things are off to a positive start with two kids making the “right choices” in wrong-choice-littered Bushwick, with the help of Malaak Rock (Chris Rock’s wife).
[9:04] Not five minutes in and we’ve already trotted out the Hoop Dreams stereotype. Nice.
[9:11] The kids are off to South Africa after the break. Is anyone else a bit uncomfortable with the old “take ’em to Africa to show ’em real misfortune” trope?
[9:19] South Africa: 1 out of 5 adults infected, and 1.4 million children orphaned by AIDS. Staggering numbers indeed.
[9:21] This certainly paints a stark picture of the meaningful differences between Black poverty at home in the U.S., and poverty abroad.
[9:25] Comment received via email from Amara Omeokwe, Bronx, NY: “I know the kids are learning a lot, but I get upset when people just go over [to Africa] and throw money/supplies at these impoverished people. They become so “enlightened,” But those people will be right back to suffering in 2 months when the supplies run out. So who really benefits?” Who, indeed.
[9:27] A number of people have pointed out that for a show that’s called “Black in America,” we’re spending an awful lot of time in Africa. Might that mean CNN is trying to emphasize the connectedness of Black people the world over, or are they constructing American Blackness in opposition to what they show in Africa? Or neither? Food for thought.
[9:28] After witnessing the bit just now with the South Africans eating worms, and the Black Americans gagging, looks like CNN is veering (rather stereotypically) in the direction of emphasizing the opposition.
[9:32] And … they followed up the worm-eating with a safari scene. CNN really went for the gold with this portrayal of South Africa, didn’t they?
[9:41] Looks like Malaak has the right idea, encouraging them toward college and expressing concern about their grades.
[9:43] This might seem a bit pessimistic, but what made anyone think a trip to South Africa would change these kids’ grades? The two things aren’t really related.
[9:48] From what little I saw of the upcoming principal in the preview, I can already tell: I’m really going to like this guy.
[9:56] A near 0% drop-out rate, and 100% of kids who graduate from Capital Prep go to college. Those are the kind of results we need to see for Black children. And it’s all happening under the guidance of this principal, Steve Perry. Not a celebrity, not a rich person. Just a dedicated, regular guy doing his job. Amazing.
[10:00] Comment received via email from Emi Briggs, San Jose, CA: “I love when people take innovative approaches to education, and use the resources of the community.”
[10:05] He drives kids to school! He is really dedicated.
[10:11] Comment received via email from Natasha Alford, Stamford, CT: “The lack of parental involvement is shameful. What else can you possibly be doing if you’re not taking care of your own children?…Oh that’s right, all the other problems plaguing the black community lie drug addiction and prison. Sad cycle …”
[10:12] It’s amazing to see how much this young woman, Glorius, and her family, have overcome.
[10:15] Comment from blackplanet.com member UncleTom30: “This show is nothing more than an artificial, superficial, and pretentious profile of the life of a minority of affluent, prominent, and condescending negros who take more than they give, and what they give is merely a meager portion of what they got from exploiting the plight and blight of black life in predominently white America.”
[10:25] From Twitter: “I hope tomorrow Soledad shows some normal black people. Not super rich. Not super poor. Just normal.”
[10:28] It’s nice to see some class diversity in this installment of Black in America. For a second it looked like they were going paint the entire Black experience as one big “up-from-poverty” story.
[10:30] Dr. Miles on upper-class Black Americans: “We’re invisible because we don’t fit the stereotype.” Hopefully a few people watching CNN will have their eyes opened.
[10:33] A gem from Dr. Miles on how to get invited to the Tuxedo Ball: “You don’t have to be wealthy, … you just have to be part of the group.” Rich Black folks: just like other rich people! Elitism looks the same in every color.
[10:43] The struggles of Black people in corporate America – there’s a story you really don’t see every day. Good job, CNN.
[10:52] From Twitter: “Black In America” should be renamed “What CNN thinks America wants to see about Blacks … in America.”
[10:55] This MLT program sounds like a great opportunity for young Black professionals. Hopefully more people will become aware of it after viewing this show.
[11:00] That’s it for tonight’s liveblog of CNN Black in America 2. I hope you enjoyed watching and commenting along with NewsOne. Tune in tomorrow night for our liveblog of the second half of the show. Goodnight!