Day 10, Black History Month: Let’s try an appraisal, problem solving exercise, Part II
Yesterday, I tried to elicit a response to the state of, NYC African-American theater companies (43), 37 years ago and those in operation today. I got no response.
37 years ago, in the publishing area there were 4 national publications: Jet, Ebony, Essence and Black Enterprise. In the NYC area there were smaller publications: Routes, Unique NY, The Amsterdam News, and The Brooklyn Eagle. For posterity, maybe some of my readers can help me update that list?
But where is African-American publishing today?
Jet, no longer publishes weekly editions in newsprint. I understand they are publishing online, only.
Ebony, is on life support—thanks to an investment banking firm. Rumor has it, Ebony may have to sell its photo archives in order to remain an almost viable entity.
Essence, is now owned by Time-Warner.
Black Enterprise, is rumoured to be owned by Forbes.
I hope many of you are not asking, “Well Ronn, what’s your point?”
My point: news people and news organizations, outside of the African-American community are crafting the images of this community. Anti-societal. The daily negative images abound, nationally and internationally. We are all familiar with them. In response from the African-American community, I see praises heaped on assassinated leaders or signs “Black Life Matters!”. I think the massive amounts of energies are misplaced. Why not making sure that daily positive images, for us and our families, exist? There is not the possibility of intra-community self confidence or self worth.
The music scene:
Today, we back-in-the-dayers” don’t relate to, care about or understand what our Hip Hop sons and daughters are singing about. Why have we given parental responsibility? In today’s press, the only African-Americans to receive national praise seems to be Jay Z and Beyonce. And that praise has been tinged.
Many of you, my readers, are part of the African-American Who’s Who. I know your unselfish potential power to help our community. There are many writers amongst you. Some say “Without being paid, I won’t write.” What is going to be the future alternative: more of the same nonsense about the African-American community and no positions to write in with the same organizations who think “Black Lives Don’t Matter”. Doesn’t sound like self preservation to me.
What are all of the above paragraphs about? They’re about stimulating you, perhaps in helping to avoid what seems inevitable: African-American identity.
At 71 years old, I am part of the digital media community. 37 years hence my first publication, I understand there is power in publishing. If you, too, believe that, let’s try together to give our future generations institutions they can depend on for nourishment.
If I’m sitting in the wrong church, bring on the right sermons!