We debuted our guest editors that we selected for Black History Month this week and I have to say that I am grateful for their participation. Tamron Hall, host of MSNBC’s “NewsNation with Tamron Hall” and “Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall,” was the first to be featured. I interviewed her about her favorite movies and TV shows, why who or what’s considered black “cannot be put in simple words or terms” and whether she’ll wear her natural, curly hair texture on air. On the issue of “blackness”–which I think is a limiting term although I understand how its reference came to be used within the black American community–it’s a topic I asked each of our guest editors about because it seems that now more than ever, people, regardless of racial or ethnic makeup, are quick to define who is a black person. Most recently, an Arizona State University fraternity hosted a Martin Luther King Jr. Day party where nonblacks dressed up as negative stereotypes of blacks. And it doesn’t stop there. Even nonblacks are quick to snatch up black people’s “black cards” if they don’t meet their specifications of what a black person is or should be. You know, if they don’t talk “black,” live the way “black” people should live, dress “black” or have the types of familial relationships they think are “black.” Our second guest editor, Wayne Brady, host of “Let’s Make a Deal” who will host the “BET Honors” this weekend, has often been the target of such narrow-mindedness and even had to publicly shut people down. “And even in 2014, it’s ridiculous that that conversation even happens or that it’s given credence, energy or life,” Brady said.
In the end, it really matters very little what other people say about you. It may not seem that way but it’s true. It really is about how you view yourself because those thoughts help shape your experiences ( I know this just turned into a self-help lesson really quick, LOL). And that’s something both Tamron and Wayne point out. When I look at the depth of the various experiences of black Americans I see this colorful, beautiful tapestry comprised of unique and diverse experiences. I see a person who may love watching “Real Housewives of Atlanta” just as much as they love watching “The Carol Burnett Show” or “Merlin” (the latter two, Wayne and I have in common). I see someone who may be married with children or a person happily single with them. I see college-educated folk and people who have wisdom and knowledge with only a GED. I see churchgoers and I see people who get their spiritual enlightenment by sitting under a tree. And there’s a bunch of joyous and tear-filled realities in between. There’s just no one way to be black. It’s infinite and indefinable. No one needs to understand and accept that more than black people. Read Tamron’s interview here and check out Wayne’s thoughts here.
Also, speaking of Ms. Burnett, did you catch the final episode of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”? Of course, my favorite part was when my childhood inspiration Carol Burnett appeared on stage as part of the celebs that sing “So Long, Farewell” to Jay during his final episode. Others included Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian and Cheryl Crow. Watch it here.
On my watchlist? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand this weekend…
“Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth”: This PBS documentary will air as part of the “American Masters” series. I’ve read a few of Ms. Walker’s books, met her a couple of times and am familiar with various aspects of her life. This should interesting. It airs tonight at 10 p.m. EST on your local PBS station.
“The Walking Dead”: After being away for a couple of months, everyone’s favorite zombie show returns. Who survived the shootout? Tune in Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on AMC to find out. Catch up on past episodes here.
“Blood, Sweat & Heels”: The Super Bowl was behind this new reality series’ two-week hiatus but the drama, drunkenness and other tomfoolery continues this week. Can I tolerate it? We’ll see. It airs Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on Bravo. Catch up past episodes here.
The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Lauryn Hill seen leaving a taping of “Late Show with David Letterman” (She looked good in the photos I saw and I hope she’s doing well. Fingers crossed!).
NOT: People who think they’re offending others by making watermelon-eating references and people who are ashamed to admit they eat watermelon because of ignorant stereotypes (If either only knew the health benefits, they’d get a slice!).
HOT: Rihanna! (She’s herself and that’s cool with me.).
NOT: Reality TV show brawls–YIKES! (I’ve seen it on all types of shows and it needs to stop!).
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.