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#AtlantaFX

?New Series Alert? Turn up the volume for more details! ?

I told my best friend she had to watch Atlanta because it was arguably the realest show on television. She watched it and was not impressed.

Bestie: “It’s not inspiring” ?
Me: “It’s not supposed to be” ?

Atlanta show poster

If you’re looking for a feel-good show that addresses black issues, watch Black-ish. If you’re ready to get your hands dirty with a raw, uncut commentary on issues affecting the black community, tune in to FX on Tuesday nights at 10 pm ET.

On the surface of things, Atlanta’s main character Ern, may seem like a broke, aint shit n*gga, managing his rapping, drug dealing cousin who’s trynna make it big in the rap game. But the show is deeper than that… much deeper.

In a sarcastic, dry humor that only Donald Glover could pull off, Atlanta comments on a range of topics, such as:

  • The affects of hip hop on the black community
  • Concepts of race and gender as human constructions
  • Advertisers’ attempt to monetize the black community
  • Government criminalization of social issues
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Single parenthood
  • Club culture  
  • Poverty

In just 30 minutes, it amazes me how Atlanta is able to dive into the complexities of these issues and unweave the hypocrisies that stitch together the status quo. 

Atlanta truly epitomizes the importance of black representation in the media. I’m not just talking about showing black people on T.V. I’m talking about black writers, directors and producers paving the way for life to imitate art. Atlanta hovers a magnifying glass over the social challenges that consume black bodies daily and accurately depicts the microaggressions that plague my everyday encounters.

I could go on and on about how Atlanta is awesome, but this review will not do the show justice. No review will. You just have to check it out for yourself. ?

Haha…not funny ?

When I first heard Hillary Clinton made a “CP time” joke, I didn’t believe it. Although there may be a general consensus in the black community that Bill could have nailed the same joke, Hillary does not tote the same honorary Black Card as her hubby. For my readers who are culturally unaware, CP (colored people) time is a well known joke (exclusively reserved for black execution) that pimps the following stereotype: people of color are never on time… EVER! In this instance of misguided antics, once again, black culture was misappropriated to make a joke at the expense of a historically marginalized group. Not cool Hilary, not cool. Take a look.

“There’s no way a black person saw this script during the approval process,” my boyfriend said after we became aware of this deplorable attempt at comedy. I smiled within because I was successfully brainwashing my love bug to see how lack of minority representation in the media results in the bull shit embedded above.

Did this comedy script get a stamp of approval by a token minority? Beats me, but it is situations like these that help strengthen this blog’s three-year soap opera about the importance of having a minority seat at the decision making table. We help offer up a  “oh hell nah” when culturally insensitive ideas are conjured up.

RIP Hillary Clinton’s name on Black Twitter and the African American vote she’s been campaigning. Also, to the black man on stage who was in on the joke, please return your black card to your local NAACP office …okay I’m done✌?

Staying Woke in 2016 ??

Opportunity. That’s all we’re asking for said Chris Rock to a sea of white faces during this year’s Oscars. I could summarize Rock’s opening monologue at the beginning of the show, but I’ll let Rock speak for himself.

When Black Twitter realized #OscarsSoWhite was going to be a reoccurring theme at the 88th Academy Awards, they, along with Will and Jada Smith called for Rock to step down as host. After watching his monologue, I’m glad Rock did not succumb to the pressures of Black Twitter fingers. I applaud Rock for using his opportunity to host as a platform to make a statement, to extend his reach beyond the choir, because let’s face it, how many times are black people given the opportunity to hover a magnifying glass over white privilege in front of 34.4M viewers?

The only part of Rock’s speech that I could have done without was Stacey Dash’s appointment to “director of the Minority Outreach Program.” Dash’s guest appearance at the Oscars came not too long after receiving backlash from the black community for a Fox News interview where she claimed there was no need for Black History Month or BET.

But this year’s #OscarsSoWhite awards show proved why both Black History Month and BET is so important. If academia, the general public and media are not going to acknowledge the achievements of black people, then we will. And we did ??.

ADMA

Last night's All Def Movie Awards celebrated "our" talent in Hollywood. And we loved every unapologetically black minute of it.

Posted by TheRoot.com on Monday, February 29, 2016

With our awards shows “so white,” you’d think we’d refrain from tainting our own bio pics with passive aggressive endorsements of European standards of beauty. Take for example Zoe Saldana being casted as civil rights activists and jazz singer, Nina Simone.

When I saw black faced Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone on a movie poster, I dropped my head in disappointment and proceeded to smh.

Colorism in the black community has long been an issue. Fair-skinned black folk have a history of being more palatable for European tastes than our dark-skinned brothers and sisters. You add the lack of diversity in Hollywood to the equation and dark-skinned actors and actresses are at a double disadvantage, facing exclusion from both white and black directors.

“My mother was raised at a time when she was told her nose was too wide, her skin was too dark,”

– Lisa Simone Kelly (New York Times, 2012).

After reading this quote from Nina Simone’s daughter, the act of casting a light-skinned actress and throwing dark makeup and a prostatic nose on her face seems like slapping Nina Simone’s legacy, well… in the face.

And so I end my first blog post of the year (yes, I know we are three months in) with a simple call to action: as long as the Oscars stays white, Stacey stays clueless, and Saldana stays Nina Simone, make sure you stay woke in 2016 like baby hair and afros and negro noses with Jackson Five nostrils.

Beyonce flipping the bird

 

Three reasons #TheWizLive was amazing:

Unfortunately, I missed The Wiz Live Thursday night on NBC and had no intentions on watching it later until my best friend texted me Thursday night: “You should do a blog post on The Wiz live airing on NBC.”

When I asked her why, she proceeded to text me six paragraphs about why The Wiz airing live was a big deal. I told her she should be a guest blogger on Media Whistle and write about it. She politely declined, claiming she didn’t want to “think deeply” about the show, but that I should. So I took her up on the offer, and after further investigation (i.e. actually watching the show), I came up with three reasons why #TheWizLive was amazing and, indeed, deserved a post on Media Whistle.

http://www.nbc.com/sites/nbcunbc/files/files/styles/nbc_show_about_cover/public/images/2015/10/27/2015-1026-NBCU-The-Wiz-About-Image-1920x1080-UG.jpg?itok=YjIK2z7v

  1. An all black cast took up a three-hour slot during prime time television.

Any time an all black cast is on television during prime time, it’s a big deal because it is a rarity. My co-worker reminded me on Friday that the last time NBC had an all black cast on television during prime time was in the 90s when “Fresh Prince” aired.

And if that fact doesn’t convince you that having a mostly black cast on television during prime time is a big deal, just ask the people who complained about The Wiz’s “lack of diversity,” as if The Wizard of Oz never happened.

But all haters aside, it wasn’t until I saw this tweet, that the gravity of having The Wiz air live on NBC finally hit me: the power of representation was being broadcasted to millions of people and it was changing lives.

  1. A timeless black story received a millennial make over.

http://cdn01.cdn.justjared.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/wiz-live/nbc-debuts-first-look-at-the-wiz-live-cast-03.JPG

The Wiz is a timeless black staple. And  Thursday’s live showing helped to keep a legendary story celebrating black culture relevant to today’s generation. The characters’ lines were full of today’s Black Twitter vernacular. It was hilarious hearing Dorothy refer to her friends as her “squad” and hearing the word “shade” tossed around a few times. The characters’ upgraded vocabulary, combined with iPads and subtle whipping and naeing during dance sequences, drizzled new-age sauce on a timeless storyline recipe.

  1. The Wiz Live made a big statement about today’s standard of beauty and gender.

https://tribzap2it.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/shanice-williams-2-the-wiz.jpg

Dorothy gets all the snaps in the world for rocking natural hair AND for being slightly bigger than a toothpick. I applaud the show’s directors for casting women of all shapes, shades and sizes, showcasing the array of diversity within the Black community.

Then there was Queen Latifah casted as The Wiz, who Dorothy and her friends consistently referred to as a “he” until they discover that the Wiz is a fraud and a “she.” Adding this little twist to the plot challenged gender roles, allowing Latifah to act across the gender spectrum and her character to test the conners of the binary gender box we have been socialized to play in.

http://rack.3.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE1LzExLzI5L2FiL3F1ZWVuMy41MDRkZi5qcGcKcAl0aHVtYgkxMjAweDk2MDA-/f9721142/f4a/queen3.jpg


If you missed #TheWizLive like I did, go to nbc.com and watch the show. I promise you won’t regret it.

 

 

Popping your First World media bubble

prayforparis

1/2 Snapchat filter.

Less than 24 hours after the terrorists attacks in Paris on Friday, hastags #PrayForParis and #ParisAttacks were trending world-wide. Facebook and Snapchat arrived on the social media scene equipped with first aid kits filled with Paris-themed filters, allowing social media first responders to show their support for Paris during this tragic time. Facebook created a Paris flag filter for profile pictures and Snapchat made available not one, but TWO, filters people could use to show their support for Parisians.

Fast-forward to today, I’m driving home and I get a call from my boyfriend, Michael. The conversation starts out normal with us sharing how our weekends went, and then it takes an unexpected turn.

Bae: “So you heard what happened in Paris, right? “

Me: “Yea babe, it’s all over social media.”

Bae: “Do you know what happened in Kenya?

Me: “What?”

Michael goes on to explain his frustration over how much media coverage the attacks in Paris are getting compared to the Kenya massacre that occurred back in April of this year.

Instinctively, I wanted to play the “racist” card because, let’s face it, most things in our society are, but upon second examination, I tried to smooth over my boyfriend’s frustrations with the following explanation: What happened in Paris was more “news worthy” than the  Kenya massacre because Paris has a lot of tourists and students studying abroad, thus making the story hit home for a lot more people.

Michael wasn’t satisfied with my answer, so he probed further. “I get that, but why?” That’s when my wheels started to turn.

10852599_172396863108083_499077377_n

2/2 Snapchat filter.

The reason Paris blew up on social media and was more heavily covered by news outlets is because Paris is more relatable. We are familiar with Paris. We see Paris on TV, it is romanticized and people fantasize about vacationing there. Kenya? What does the average person know about that country? What language do they speak? What’s their currency? Where are they located on the world map?

So is the media wrong for covering the Paris attacks more heavily than they did the Kenya massacre? No. I’m simply blowing the whistle so we can pause, acknowledge and question the news cycle’s selectivity. Expanding your news consumption beyond your social media timeline may help you avoid getting trapped in a First World media bubble that’s unexpectedly popped when terrorism hits a little too close to home.

Keep questioning, media whistle blowers, and #StayWoke.

 

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