african american tv

Can we talk about American Gods? We really have a dark-skin black woman playing a Biblical Queen and a Love Goddess. We have Black People portraying Egyptian Gods. The lead of the show is black. They have West African Gods being portrayed on mainstream media. Seeing black people’s mythology and history represented on screen by black actors is a big thing. People aren’t even aware of nor regard the several figures in Abrahamic religions being African. .

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Blacks, Blues, Black!

“Episode 1 of a 10-part TV series made by Dr. Maya Angelou for KQED in 1968 called Blacks, Blues, Black!, which examines the influence of African American culture on modern American society. As Dr. Angelou puts it: “What is Africa to me?” Includes scenes of Dr. Angelou in the studio discussing “positive Africanisms”: children’s games, dance, poetry, religion and the blues. She states: “The preachers and the blues singers are the poets of the black American world.” Also features views on location of children playing street games, of Rev. WR Drummer and Rev. JL Strawther preaching at the Little Zion Baptist Church in San Francisco and of B.B. King performing on-stage and being interviewed by Dr. Angelou. This episode was written by Dr. Angelou and produced by Tony Batten.”

i am beyond ecstatic to post this series written and hosted by Dr. Maya Angelou from 1968. it’s basically an introduction to African American Studies (/African diasporic studies) made for television. ever since i saw the Netflix documentary, “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise”, i have been obsessed. she’s much more radical than the light she is generally caste in. this is such a gem. i hope you all watch all the episodes. 

About the cornrows thing...

It really was never about the hair.

Originally posted by mtv

The core of Amandla’s discussion about cultural appropriation had barely settled on America’s consciousness, much less our subconsciousness before this happened…..

and then swiftly this happened.

This “conversation” between 16 year old Stenberg and the now 18 year old Jenner caused a huge uproar. Immediately Amandla not only was accused of being a race baiter and of being the stereotypical “angry black girl” she also became Andy Cohen’s “jackhole of the day” for her counter of Kylie’s cornrows. Many people were astounded that this situation was all about hair. Anyone should be allowed to wear their hair in any fashion they want. Even the styles that have been traditionally worn by black women and girls for decades. The styles that have been worn traditionally by black women and girls for decades, primarily for function, secondarily for fashion. The styles didn’t seem to be on anyones radar or worthy of praise until Miley,or Iggy, Kendall Jenner started wearing them.

 When Amandla Stenberg called out Kylie Jenner’s cultural appropriation many came to her defense. Cries of: shes young (she had allegedly been in a relationship with a now 25 year old man since she was 16), “shes just trying to figure it out” the words of Justin Bieber, and that shes can do whatever she wants flooded the interwebs as the dispute between the girls became the highest trending hashtag.

I agree everyone should be allowed to wear their hair the way they want. A London boy in 2011 shouldn’t have been sent home because his cornrows were believed to be too closely associated with London’s gang culture. White children were also prevented from shaving their heads for fear of its association to skinheads.  

7 year old Tiana Parker should not have had to leave school because of her hair in 2013. She had attended her school for a year before her dreadlocks caused an issue.12 year old Vanessa VanDyke should not have been threatened with expulsion for wearing her hair in the natural form that grew out of her head. 

A Native American boy, 5 years old, was sent home on his first day of kindergarten because his traditional braids did not meet the required dress code for little boys. 

Okay…clearly the issue also lies in the school dress code policies. Policies that seem to make it very difficult for children of color or of other cultures to wear their hair in anyway that is different from their straight haired counterparts.  So no, Amandla’s comment was not a jab at Kylie but instead were the actions of a young woman trying to inform a privileged, young, soon to be adult celebrity with a massive fan base of impresionable individuals, to not be so careless and ignorant to the value that has historically been placed on hair and hairstyles by other cultures. It is possible to appreciate that culture without appropriating it.

  After these events I imagine that amandla would have had one last question:

What would America be like if we, as a society, defended the freedom of children of any and all color to be who they are the same way we defend  young girls/women, like Kylie Jenner, to do what they want? 

UPDATE

Vanessa was featured on the real 11/13/2015 and her Afro still looks amazing.

Happy Birthday Ruby Dandridge! (March 3, 1900 – October 17, 1987) 

Born Ruby Jean Butler, she was an American actress from the early 1900s to the 1950s. She is best known for her radio work in her early days of acting. Dandridge is known for her role on the radio show Amos ‘n Andy, in which she played Sadie Blake and Harriet Crawford, and on radio’s Judy Canova Show, in which she played “Geranium”. She is recognized for her role in the 1959 movie A Hole in the Head as “Sally”. (Wikipedia)

  • Courtesy of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts, Detroit Public Library
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It’s going to be a busy — but sweet — summer for Naturi Naughton: the Power actress is due with her first child in July. “It’s been a little surreal, but I feel really good, healthy and strong,” the star, 32, tells PEOPLE exclusively.

The pregnancy came as a surprise to Naughton and her longtime boyfriend Ben, but “it’s such a blessing,” she says.

I feel like being pregnant and entering this new stage has made me stronger and more excited about life in general. Everything seems so much more purposeful.”

After discovering she was pregnant while in the middle of shooting her hit STARZ show in Brooklyn, Naughton’s cast and crew became protective of her on set. 

They’ve been really good at keeping it on the low, but they’re also super excited,” she says. “Omari [Hardwick], who plays my husband, we have kids on the show and he’s like, ‘Now you get to be experiencing motherhood in real life!’ Everyone’s been really supportive.” Read More here

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Yesterday my brother and I had a very long Twitter exchange where we mentioned just a few of our favorite black cartoon characters because growing up these characters were us. Because no mater what people will try and tell you representation maters.

The cast of the CBS television sitcom Good Times pose for a group portrait on the set of the episode “Thelma’s Wedding” in 1979. The series aired from 1974-1979 and starred Esther Rolle and comedian Jimmie Walker, among others including future pop superstar Janet Jackson (second from left).