I recently got an email from someone who asked me when was I going to get my own show. And I said, “Well, I already have my own show on TV One.”
And they said, “No, no, no, no, no. I mean one CNN or some other network — you know, a real show.”
And it got me to thinking, “Why is it that African-Americans somehow don’t believe that a show on a Black cable network isn’t a ‘real’ show?”
You know, I’ve had this experience before. You know, I’ve run three Black newspapers. I’ve run a national, Black website; and people sat here and said, “Well, yeah, but that’s really not real.” And I think this is a fundamental problem, [that] we somehow devalue what is our own. The reality is the first network to pay me for my commentary? TV One. It wasn’t CNN. The first network to give me my own show was TV One. And so I don’t understand why African-Americans somehow don’t have the appreciation that we can actually build our own, that speaks to us in a much different way.
I think it’s important for us, when it comes to our children, to say that we should be able to tell our own story. As the first founders of the first Black newspaper said, “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”
And so the same thing applies, I think, when it comes to television. So, I say to everyone else don’t somehow think that TV One is less than. The fact of the matter is we should respect our networks, just as we respect others.
That’s my perspective. What’s yours?