Thursday, July 23, 2009
It must be the Obama Effect
I watched CNN's Black in America 2 last night and was genuinely surprised about how positive the program was. If you remember last year's documentary, it focused on the aspects of the black community that mainstream media sees far too often. We saw mothers on welfare, kids in poor neighborhoods, and deadbeat dads. But this year we saw kids in poor neighborhoods travel to South Africa to help those that are less fortunate than them, a charter school that sends 100% of its students to college, and a glimpse into the world of black elitist. People use the concept of the "Oprah Effect" the explain her show's influence on businesses and people featured on her show, but I think the "Obama Effect" has an effect on how mainstream media portrays African-Americans. Don't get me wrong, the media still has a a very long way to go, but I am seeing slight changes. Desiree Rogers on the cover of The Wall Street Journal magazine, more news stories about the positive effects Obama's presence is having on young men, and charities featuring commercials with African-American athletes making differences in their community. The Obama family has only been in the White House for 6 months, so it will be interesting to see if the trend of positive images increases during his term. I hope it does because we're a people of so much more than shooting hoops and entertainment; we're leaders, pioneers, and change-makers.