Perspective: African-Americans Should Respect Black TV Networks, Just As We Respect Others (VIDEO)

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?

  • Johnbutler55

    Until we learn to rspect ourself by demanding respect from others then this sort of mentality from our people will continue… We have to have enough self respect to respect each other and stand collectively and demand respect for our people…Peace and Love!

  • KJB

    I remember when I was in grad school and I took a class called Minority Cinema. I did an analysis of Mississippi Burning. I told the class that we have our own stories to tell and that black people have to be in charge of our own destiny.The class consisted mostly of black students, although I believed that many other white male students should have taken the class also. The historical stereotypical images of blacks and especially black males has been a sore subject for me as a black male who grew up during the blaxploitation era. So yes blacks should realize that what other blacks who are in Communications business, have real shows and many which covers issues that are or should be of concern to blacks. The instructor of the class whom I have come to love and respect said to us black students, that blacks have been for a long time trying to discover their voice. That statement has been with me since. “I have a voice but if I don’t speak out it will never be heard. I applaud people like Roland Martin, a distinguished black male who have found his voice, and is using it to speak out. Spike Lee’s “School Daze” was one poignant movie in that the Director found his voice and shared it with all of Black America. Many blacks are still asleep and as Dap, played by Lawrence Fishburne said,  “WAKE UP!!!!!!”  All the students wake up and goes to an area where Dap is standing in front of a bell. Dap concludes with “please wake up.” Lets us all who are black wake up and appreciate what many other blacks are doing on Black networks.;_ylt=A2KLqIDsSWpPl2AADyP7w8QF;_ylu=X3oDMTBncGdyMzQ0BHNlYwNzZWFyY2gEdnRpZAM-?p=school+daze%2C+dap&ei=utf-8&n=21&tnr=20 

  • Greglh

    Roland… I hear what you are saying and I agree on the respect end of it.  Here is my issue with Black TV Networks.   They DO NOT offer a FULL specturm of services.   I truly LOVE your show.  But EVERYONE tunes into news.  5,6 am, noon, 5,6 pm, 10,11 pm all week long with variations on the weekends.  With that said how often do WE complain about how the NEWS media cover stories?I’m on a campaign of my own and that is to convince Black TV Networks to offer four 30 min segments of news a day.  

    Roland.  That is 2 hours out of the 24 hours of usual ENTERTAINMENT that is given to us daily.I don’t think that is asking too much.  And it amazes me when we have the power now to do things like this and we seem to have settled for just entertainment.  So yes people will question the legitimacy of our networks if that is all we are offering.   Some people might say, “I can get that on ABC, MSNBC, FOX, CNN, CBS”.But that is my point. Why sit around and rely on THEM to provide coverage we can already provide?   We aren’t doing it for entertainment, obviously.  So why do it for other services that TV opens for us.   I know if they offered it I would watch it.  6 am news, 6 pm news, 11 pm news unless they want to run it at 10 pm.  I might not see the noon news because I take late lunches.
    The same if they offered investigative news reporting like 60 mins, 20/20.
    Anyway.  Continue to do the great job you are doing!!!!