Who’s Black In America? Review
The all too familiar topic of skin color was once again revisited on a national scale Sunday night by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien in Who’s Black In America? My earliest recollection of this topic was Spike Lee’s 1988 groundbreaking film School Daze, where light and dark skinned female college students vehemently hated and taunted each other based on stereotypes created by centuries old white men who simultaneously captured and denigrated blacks as a way of creating psychological dissent for one another that has lasted since then. Whether it’s the field slave or house slave, since arriving to America, Blacks have been separated by race in a deliberate and nefarious scheme to create division amongst us, with the end result usually concluding that lighter is better. Time Wise, featured on Who’s Black In America, revisits and explains this age-old nonsensical beliefs held by blacks about skin color, hair texture, eye color and other physical features that associate light skin with elegance and grace like Zoe Saldana and dark skin such as Danai Gurira, whose character on The Walking Dead is known for being a ruthless killer and lacking basic human emotion.
These stark differences are nothing new from the perceptions of whites, but also blacks as well as we too have subscribed to many of the falsities spewed upon us. These motifs have been constantly recycled throughout the history of television and film in our country and it comes to no surprise that these beliefs haven’t been challenged before as they are now considered normal and expected roles and depictions of African Americans. It was a great decision for CNN to produce a show which documents and details different stories that show what it means to look different, even amongst people who share your same background and cultural beliefs and it serves as a measuring stick for the amount of progress made thus far and what continues to need to be done.
Who’s Black In America will re-air on Dec. 15th at 8pm on CNN.