What's Good Black America

Winter Break gives us a time to reflect on the fall semester and prepare for the spring semester. Even though school has stopped the world is still burdened with new stories. In Black America we are trying to find ourselves as we have a new president.  Additionally, we are discussing issues within our community as a result of new films and television series. Here are some top stories in Black America from winter break.

  1. Steve Harvey and Donald Trump?

Obviously, the vast majority of Blacks are outraged with our new president, Donald Trump. We do not feel that he can make decisions for our community because he does not understand the needs of our community. However, many Black celebrities are now taking the time to sit down and talk with President Donald Trump. Recently Kanye West, Steve Harvey and Martin Luther King III conversed with Donald Trump, which resulted in backlash from the Black community. Steve Harvey discussed the hurt he experienced when he received the backlash. On his radio show he encouraged the Black community to start understanding the full story before becoming so reactive. Additionally, he noted that he was invited to the inauguration but his wife declined the invitation. Harvey nor the other Black leaders have stated they support Trump’s agenda but simply were voicing their concerns with the new president elect. Nevertheless, many people including T.I are not impressed and claim West, Harvey and King to be sellouts.

  1. Blackish, Hidden Figures, and Fences

Over the break, Black movies and television have flourished throughout the media industry. Many people praised various television shows and movies because they were relatable to their audience. The current struggle of Black professionals was highlighted in a recent episode of Blackish. We saw Dre (Anthony Anderson) being questioned about his concern for America with an inexperienced elected president. Each of his co-workers failed to see the hard work Dre’s ancestors put into the country and that somehow Americans need to learn how to move forward and live in harmony. Hidden Figures, on the other hand, highlighted Black excellence in America during the height of oppression within the community. The movie celebrated three Black women who made great strides in science and helped engineer and calculate the launch of John Glenn's orbit around space. This event ultimately defined America's standing in the space race. Lastly, Denzel Washington did an excellent job producing and starring in the film, Fences. This movie attracted a diverse audience on Christmas Day and fostered a conversation about the Black male. Overall, the movie discussed the internal and external struggles that many Black males are burdened with daily. Black actors and producers truly used their platform to show many struggles in Black America.

  1. Farewell to the Obamas

On January 10, 2017 many Americans eyes were glued to the television screen as we watched President Barack Obama deliver his Farewell Address in Chicago. Some cried with Sasha as we watched our president gracefully leave the White House. As usual Obama gave Americans hope and urged us all to become involved in the new direction America is taking. The president did not want us to remain hopeless but turn our frustrations into actions. He stated, “…That’s what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.” In my opinion, Obama is telling us that we need to stop complaining via Twitter and Facebook and start directly getting involved. Hopefully, Obama’s call for action encouraged you become politically involved and not just once every four years.  

  1. Flint’s water crisis

Just last year, the nation was outraged when we found out that Flint, Michigan’s resident were consuming contaminated water. Well, just over a year later children and their families are still struggling to find clean water in their city. Flint residents can not drink the water without filters, meaning they rely on bottled water to bathe, cook, and drink. The state’s attorney general told TIME that multiple state officials are being investigated on the charges brought against them for not acting sooner throughout the crisis . The city has committed to replacing 30,000 lead pipes and switched to using Detroit’s River water supply. So far the city has replaced 700 of the 30,000 filthy pipes but progress is slow due to limited resources and the harsh weather.  However, many residents do not trust what city officials are telling them about the state of their water.  

  1. Issa Rae and Jussie Smollett

In the height of political tension, Issa Rae and Jussie Smollett are gifting us with a new YouTube series, Giants.  Rae, a star of “Insecure,” and Smollett, a star of “Empire,” will be the executive producers of the new web-series. The show tells the story of three Black millennials who are having a hard time figuring out life as they approach their 30s. Giants will discuss mental health, sexuality, police brutality, and other themes common in the Black community. The director, James Bland stated in a press release that, “The show explores social issues that are either ignored or stigmatized by the Black community…and regardless of race, these characters’ experiences are relatable to almost anyone.” The series is set to premiere on January 25 at 8pm.

In Black America we are worried about the direction are leaders are taking us as we say goodbye to President Barack Obama. The film industry is thriving and fostering discussions about issues burdening the Black community. Flint still does not have clean water to drink. However, young producers are blessing are YouTube feeds with a new-series we all can relate too. As the new year begins let's commit to being aware of what is going on within in our community.