Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dear Oprah,

Now that you have your own cable TV network and an all-star posse of lucky individuals who you've helped start their own show, how'bout giving a brotha' his own show? And not a Tyler Perry/victim-based/relates more to females type of bruh, but more of a Michael Baisden/Michael Eric Dyson/Stephen A. Smith type where once a week issues concerning us and only us are seriously addressed? Whether it's issues relating to fatherhood, self-employment and police harassment as a rite of passage or miseducation, health and money concerns, and what defines a man?--a well-centered Black man--we could bring up stuff we talk about at the barbershop that doesn't get heard on the national scene. Like a follow-up to the Million Man March, why African American boys drop out of school emotionally and mentally after 4th grade, the wars between Black people and niggaz, and why so many of us find it easier to open up to strangers than to our own sistas?

Think about it. A one-hour talk show where we're actually allowed to express our selves without being demonized, marginalized or plain ridiculed for it. Our host could do the shows you used to do before your name became a machine, like the one about the 'blue-eyes test' forcing White America to admit they benefit from race-ism. It may have been one of those turning points in your career as a TV talk show host where you realized safe n comfy bring more ratings/money than in your face/no apology, or when you detoured from your film 'Beloved' after realizing White people don't necessarily love you, they just want you to entertain them. And Black women don't want to look at their stupid choices in stupid men. They just want to be applauded for pointing the finger at them. Now, before you get all bothered. No woman deserves to get shot in the face for wanting out of an abusive relationship. But at the same time, no man deserves to be accused of deceiving if deception is more tolerated than truth. You feel me?
Look, you own the damn thing now! Plus, you can still make mad money making your base feel safe and comfy by showing safe and comftble talks. But for us guys who already cry in the dark, you can give the green light to bring up issues we'd like to see on TV with guests we'd consider our own Dr. Oz, our own Suze Orman, our own Dr. Phil, and even our own how to put together your furniture without your home looking like a museum guy. Our host could be free to invite Black activists, including Farrakhan, and so many phenominal pan-African educators and male-based pychologists (pan-african means putting the focus on Black people all over) who'd have a platform to explore our concerns. And no, John Travolta wouldn't be a guest. Nice guy but we want his private jet, not his dance moves!

A brothaman show could also start a major book reading incentive in america, especially with the focus being on encouraging boys and men to read more, along with upcoming, no fluff Black male writers who never get love from you. This would no doubt boost the African American publishing industry, and our youth would feel encouraged to write after seeing their voice celebrated. Such a show could be a combo punch of current events, global sports, education, sexuality, health, spirituality, budgeting and cooking tips. I mean, we can do this! We can make this an interesting, maybe even a provacative one hour on Black male empowerment, even if some believe female empowerment means disempowering males. We could talk about that too. Not to exploit the situation, but to help bring folk back together. If not, or if you think this might cause you to get some nasty mail that you're just not ready to deal with right now or ever again, then give it to Bev Smith. She loved showing us love. She knew what that meant to Black boys, in the end.

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