Yesterday, before I prepared for work, I heard about the news. Another “no indictment” for a black man killed by a white officer. What was different this time? The anger that rose in me. With Trayvon Martin, I was truly hurt. Hurt that a young man could be harassed and followed and killed by a man and the jury blame him and let his killer go free. With Mike Brown, I was confused as to how someone could not even go to trial and possibly be charged with the killing of an unarmed teenager. With countless others, I had these same sentiments. But this time, I was truly pissed. I could feel the hatred boiling over. Hatred for this country and it’s system. Hatred for those who supported these actions. Hatred for those who felt like they understood, but they really could never fully understand. Hatred for the blatant slap in the face that came with this no indictment. It was like a big “fuck you because we can” that came from America. I later, prayed and channeled that energy. I thought to myself about how I could effectively make a change. After the Mike Brown incident and seeing the countless efforts of the media trying to portray him into something that he was not, I came up with a plan. A plan that I could effectively commit to and something that would help our generations to come. It is in no way the only answer, but it is an effort in helping to change the entire problem. We all have a platform that we are suppose to use and it is up to us to figure out what that is and how to help others.
My love for writing and this media industry has became a little bit of a love/hate relationship. I have struggled with supporting this industry that has no interest in my people. I won’t go into too much details, but in a nutshell, there are little to no Black films out here that are actually good. This not due to lack of talent but it is lack of support from Hollywood. Chris Rock wrote an essay that further describes what I am discussing, please take the time to read: http://m.hollywoodreporter.com/news/top-five-filmmaker-chris-rock-753223?utm_source=twitter
In this essay, Rock talks about how Blacks are not given the same opportunities as Whites when it comes to media and Hollywood. Seriously, where are the black agents and managers that actually have a say in Hollywood? Because of this one-sidedness, you see less of our culture in the media. This is an issue. The lack of proper representation of Blacks in the media is truly sad. I keep saying to myself how I remember growing up and seeing so many positive Blacks in the media. Watching Whoopi Goldberg in “The Color Purple” was the reason I became a writer. When I discovered black poets and writers like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, I was in awe. I was instantly inspired because I knew that it was an obtainable goal. To become a successful Black writer. Now, think about it. What, in the media, do our children have to look up to? What images do they see day in and day out that will inspire them? Our representation has gone more and more downhill and I feel like it is time for everyone to take a stand. You have the protestors who are taking a stand against injustice in the streets. I feel like this is my stand. My purpose. To bring more positive and inspiring images of our people to the media. When I look at Black women journalists, I become more inspired, but do you know how hard it is to actually find them? I cannot just turn on the TV and have an abundant amount of options. Thankfully, Twitter has been my resource for finding these women in my field that are inspiring me to continue with my goals.
Like I stated before, we all have a purpose on this Earth. It is our duty to leave this world knowing that we helped make it better for the next generation. My gift is in writing, therefore my purpose has to be attached to that. As a writer, I have the power and platform to inform the masses and that is exactly what I am going to do. I want our children to turn on the tv and see a representation of themselves that is real. Not what “society” deems us as being. We need more of our people in the media to continue to inspire and let people see that there is more to life than what you think. It is okay to have goals and aspirations because they are obtainable. You don’t have to claw your way to the top or make a sex tape or be the next reality star to actually be successful. Shows like “Blackish” should not be the only positive show that we have out there right now. We should have an array of options from children shows to adult shows that represent us correctly. This is my new goal. I mean, I do have a production company for a reason. 🙂 I challenge any and every person of color, that is in the media field, to think about this plan. It’s time to make Black Hollywood what it truly needs to be. Not what they think it should be, but what we know to be true. Representation matters.
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