Media Representation: The Time Has Never Been Better To Make OUR Influence Known

Hey Friends,

 

As some of you may know Acts Of Faith In Love & Life has published roughly 1100 Essays, many that are still relevant and show progression in the scale and scope of ADVOCACY and POWER to benefit black women. Sometimes you have to take a rest to recharge from blogging fatigue and burn-out. We have been active on social media channels involved in current events, as part of a bigger picture to fulfill the need for evaluating, curating, encouraging and recognizing favorable media representation [prints ads, commercials, etc].

 

Advertisers may know a demographic’s value more than we do!  Media companies may even spread inaccurate information about certain groups to prop up another. There are many layers, facets and nuances to this. Suffice it to say, we have to use our thinking caps and see the big picture to cut through a lot of the confusion. We observed other forums take a firm stance about distancing oneself from a lot of media, to not support things that weren’t beneficial.

 

It’s smart to debate the pros and cons. We can appreciate all perspectives on whether to consume media, what to consume and whether people are being passive or more thoughtful in their choices. At this time I think it’s imperative to be more engaged  — with a purpose — rather than missing out on what are solid opportunities to make inroads. Whether it’s a trend or the result of a few people working behind the scenes and everything coming together at the same time, we need to strike while the iron is hot, hot, hot!!!

 

Anyone who thinks they can be more effective as a conscientious objector should do so, but might I suggest popping your head out to take a stab at slaying a beast or two should the opportunity arise? Don’t think you can stomach watching tv shows or movies?????? Well…Broadway and Off-Broadway has roughly half a dozen plays written by black women being produced right now…that you can support! This is unprecedented.

 

WHAT IS DRIVING THIS?

 

Advocacy
Curiosity
Creativity
Normal human urge to “see” oneself

 

Connecting with a large base of women from various backgrounds who are engaged online – and understand reciprocity and boundaries
“Movies make magic. They change things. They take the real and make it into something else, right before our very eyes….”  apply other genres
                                                                                                        ~~~ Reel to Real bell hooks
MEDIA & TV & FILM (& PLAYS ??) 
  • Who’s being represented and how.
  • Who gets to tell the stories and what they decide to tell.
  • What processes are determined? Who are the established industry players? Can you bypass anyone? 
  • Who can be an ally? Do you want to write, produce, direct? Work behind the scenes in other capacities, like Music Supervisor or Grip?
  • What training and resources are available? Can you get a mentor? Should you start of with a short, YouTube series, submit to a film festival or something else entirely?
These are just samples of the avenues to pursue and we want the chance to ask about them and to pursue them. And connect with others towards larger goals as well as individual pursuits.

 

HAVE YOU NOTICED EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT ‘DIVERSITY’?
What’s going on right now is a revenue shuffle and power grab. Other groups are positioning themselves(often at our expense). YOU need to pay attention!
We don’t want to push for “diversity”……but nuanced and reciprocal inclusion and parity. And to have our own projects, alliances and resources available for our use exclusively.

 

We’re not beggars. This isn’t a plea to others to “do the right thing”. Master’s House…Master’s Tools and all that…

 

Nuanced, accurate and a variety of roles…..
This is to get the highest return on our investment. This is to educate more people that they can and should expect a return on their investment. The time we spend watching tv, playing video games, going to the movies creates GENERATIONAL WEALTH for other folks. We should ALSO benefit!

 

As stated above, I’ve seen the argument for divorcing oneself from media entirely. And I agree this may be prudent for some. But I know many are going to watch programs [many low-grade] no matter what. But I also know the more people that insist on better, will get better. Ex. DIY Channel ran a dating/relationship reality show #BlackLove that turned out to be a rather thoughtful journey of discovery for four black women, despite the cringe-worthy title. No ratchetness!

 

Black actresses shouldn’t have to feel “lucky” [as in it was a miracle vs. a process of elimination] they got cast in a project!! Especially if it’s something ultimately lesser-than. With roughly 5 shows in play out of as many as THREE HUNDRED scripted series for lead roles…that’s not a lot to begin with!! Don’t let a few high-profile mentions fool you into thinking there’s dozens of shows to choose from. Where are the directors, producers, writers, and other staff??

 

We can’t be a trend or a fad. We have to create our own infrastructure. Which is why we have some work to do. You can donate to the Media TV Project.

 

Continue reading “Media Representation: The Time Has Never Been Better To Make OUR Influence Known”

When ‘Feminist’ Sites Use The ‘Plight’ Of Black Women (In This Case Regarding TV Show Scandal) To Fuel White Dominance

Wasn’t that Season 2 Finale of Scandal a jaw-dropper!! They added a whole, extra layer to daddy issues and Liv’s secret family connection Superpowers, didn’t they? Well, we’ve got all summer to TRY to digest that revelation.

In analyzing the projected images of black women in the media, something popped up last week I’d like to discuss. Just call this episode 2,957,931 of the long-running serial: All The Blacks Are Men And All The Women Are White. Did you hear the good news? The lead actress of the hottest tv show going done got herself on the cover of a “major (white) fashion magazine”!! Congrats to Kerry Washington and ELLE. This has NEVER happened before, so let’s celebrate!!!See all the variations of “homegirl finally got a cover” on the Interwebs for reference.

**Scroll down to the end of the post if you want the surprise revealed.

FYI, they did throw her a big party in NYC (see photos below)which isn’t something ELLE does every month.

I’m just curious though, wasn’t Revenge dubbed the hottest show on tv last year?  How many magazine covers has series lead Emily Van Camp done?  Taraji P. Henson is the lone female on Person Of Interest – also hugely popular. Melissa McCarthy has both a successful tv show wrapping its third season (Mike & Molly) AND gets top billing for her film projects. Number of covers? Lucy Liu of Elemental – also a hit. What about the pretty, young stars of the various CW and ABC Family shows getting followed by paparazzi everywhere?

Let’s not forget The Good Wife. This show wins Emmys and has a who’s who of guest stars. Number of fashion mags for series lead Julianna Margulies? She’s arguably the most recognizable of all the actresses listed amongst a general audience. JM was on the ubiquitous series ER and at one time the highest paid actress on tv, turning down a $27M deal to extend her ER run. And I’d be remiss in not mentioning Marishka Hargitay, because hasn’t everyone seen at least one episode of Olivia Benson in Law & Order: SVU? It’s going into its 15th season.

As we see even popular white actresses are also facing an apparent blockade from being queen of the fashion monthly. Funny, I haven’t heard any discussion of it. Have you? Yet, somebody decided to push this meme solely focusing on one particular actress from a certain tv show. WHY??? Let’s dig a little deeper.

Continue reading “When ‘Feminist’ Sites Use The ‘Plight’ Of Black Women (In This Case Regarding TV Show Scandal) To Fuel White Dominance”

When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women #3

We may have a love/hate relationship with commercials due to implications of consumerism and concerns about products. Something to consider is image, recognition of buying power and simple consideration. I believe there was an episode of Mad Men where a company had solid research AAs made up a substantial percentage of their customer base, but chose to ignore them. We’re coming full circle and should take advantage of every opportunity (and create some).

Continue reading “When Advertisers Positively Acknowledge Black Women #3”

AA Legacy Series Spotlight: Belva Davis

We’re winding down the end of (Black) Women’s Heristory Month. I invited readers to submit essays on women have moved or influenced them for inclusion and Vanessa Francis answered the call. Ms. Francis is an urban planner and policy analyst who runs the blog Wicked Urbanity. Check it out. She wrote a terrific tribute to journalist Belva Davis. It was a pleasure to include this, for as a Bay Area resident for a number of years I’ve had the distinct privilege of watching Ms. Davis on PBS. I hope you enjoy (it’s one of the few guest posts I’ll be allowing)!

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Belva Davis: Emmy Award Winning Journalist

Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.

photo from SF Gate

Holding the distinction of the first African-American woman television journalist in a western U.S. market, Belva Davis has overcome adversity to rise to the top.  Born in 1932 in Monroe, Louisiana to a teen mother, Davis moved to Oakland, California in 1942 with her family and lived in public housing.  Graduating from Berkley High School in 1951, Davis was accepted to San Francisco State University, however, she was not able to attend due to not being able to pay for a college education.   Davis soon went to work at the Naval Supply Center and soon after married Frank Davis Jr. and relocated to Washington, DC for Mr. Davis’ position with the U.S. Air Force.  During her time in D.C., Davis’ son was born there.  After a reassignment to Hawaii and then moving back to Oakland, Davis gave birth to a daughter.
Continue reading “AA Legacy Series Spotlight: Belva Davis”