Monday, October 11, 2010

Mainstream Black media and the Black out of Africa

There are many websites featuring African American news that feature consistent reporting on news that is relevant to Black ppl in America.  NewsOne, Black Voices (an AOL take over) Black Planet, and many others out there that focus on the dynamics of African American news.  I frequent many of these sites because lets face it, CNN is not talking about what's going on in middle class or lower class america for Blacks.  Niether are the rest of the white owned conglomerates that brush over the international and national news with a skinny brush. 

African Americans are taking notice and are creating their own vehicles and voices for discerning this information.  When the Bishop Eddie Long story broke, it was Black media and journalists who were all over the story, getting recounts and debating the history of the Black church and the scandals inside of them.  It was a story that captivated the audiences for the largesse of the personality involved and for the sanctity the 'black' church has been in America. 

Meanwhile other things were occuring, Nigeria was turning 50, Peace talks were faltering in Sudan, Buju Banton's trial was happening, and only Jamaican journalists were documenting the minute by minute updates, The Gambian President married his second wife, The King of Swaziland was detaining his minister for sleeping with his 14th wife, there were lots of things going on in the Diaspora that frankly even the Black media was not even sniffing.  It was more important to detail the sordid runnings of a Black Bishop gone wild. 

While many stories of Black content go under and unreported, its still very important for the Black media (that truly exists) to cover a Diasporic view to their readers.  Too often, Black America sees itself in a vacuum of dysfunctionality and crime ridden stories that fuel very little beyond a stale american view.  As a result Black ppl in America tend to be very narrow minded in what is 'news' or rather what is happening in their world. It keeps us from knowing the larger world the larger diaspora that is also us.  This limited view in thinking keeps a shackle on Africa's progress, because the more that Africans in the Diaspora know about each other, no matter where we are, the more we are able to see the problems of our separation and the more we able to converge more about the progress of Africa.  Our knowledge of the continent wouldn't be limited to wars and AIDS, and unfortunately that is the grist of what African Americans know about Africa.  Most don't even know how many countries exist, and a whole array of historical realities that has led Africa to the position it is in today. 

For the 21st century we have no room to be ignorant about Africa, the birthplace of humanity as well the source of all the raw materials that is generating our internet and telephonic social lives.  The overall media already marginalizes the continent to a large extent because it has no interest in reporting positive news or relevant news for that matter that encourages ppl to want to know more about the continent.  Instead we are used to the usual tribal warnings and depressive politics of poverty.  There is so much more going on in Africa than that. Some of it may be sordid but others is of the same relevance that we see in our own Black American communities.

The necessity for giving a fair and balanced view of what's happening in Africa is all of our jobs, if we truly want be considered enlightened individuals and an enlightened African Diaspora.


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