Inspired by reality television’s newest crown jewel cubic zirconia stud, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, I recently published a blog comparing reality television to a modern-day minstrel show. Since then, I’ve come across two other blog postings that offer different perspectives on the show, yet deliver the same message: we must do better. Kelly Beaty asked “Will the Real Black People of Atlanta Stand Up,” while Erin Harper presented her views on “VH1′s Premier of ‘The Digital Slave Ship’ aka ‘Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.’”

Thankfully, Erin didn’t stop there. She’s started a petition that calls VH1 to the carpet, not for telling these stories, but for the manner in which they are doing so:

While we should respect the perceptions and experiences of the men and women featured on “reality” television shows, networks are airing stories that could be very helpful for people to hear, but they’re telling these stories in EXTREMELY dangerous ways.

You can sign the petition by clicking here.

Now that I’ve hopefully gotten you thinking about the entertainment you consumer, how about I offer you some choices?

 

Scandal
If you haven’t watched Keri Washington in Scandal, you’re behind. And that’s ok; I was behind too. From the genius brain of Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, ABC’s newest hit follows Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, who runs a crisis management public relations firm which specializes in keeping the political elites’ secrets quiet.  This show is filled with minute to minute drama, suspense, twist and turns. Watch it. You’ll be hooked. Episodes from the first season can be found here.

 

The Soul Man
Starring Cedric the Entertainer and Niecy Nash, this Cosby-isc sitcom captures the experiences of Boyce “The Voice” Valentine’s family as they adjust to his transition from a famous soul singer to a local church pastor. I only saw the first episode, but the characters and the writing appear to be authentic and honest. I look forward to catching more. The Soul Man airs Wednesdays at 10pm on TVLand.

 

 

The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl
Isn’t it amazing when a song comes on the radio that captures everything you’re thinking or feeling? I’d never gotten that feeling watching television until I watched The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl. This web series captures all of the awkward moments experienced personally and professionally that we assume no one else can relate to. It’s also proof that we don’t have to wait on someone else to create the images we want to see. We can simply do so ourselves. You can watch one of my favorite episodes below. The rest can be found here.