I reminded why one should never doubt the seeds of Black Ambition - 'cuz a tree will sneak up on you!
I've been settling in, post my move to the Bay Area, and have neglected to offer any new posts. But an email I just received was just the right thing to spring me back into action.
I got wind of a press release stating that in a year, New Orleans native and Hip-Hop Entrepreneur (Percy) "P. Miller," formerly known as the grumbling Master P, will launch "Better Black Television." A company statement that the network will offer "positive content for a black and brown culture." (The Gazette)
As the only other cable network in existence of this type, it will naturally rival the network that people, for better or worse, have been subject to for nearly three decades, Black
I'm sure people will line up see how well the network to do, if they should be so optimistic. I'm not naiive, I know they are looking upside this black man's head like "This RAPPER is going to start a positive network?" YES. He is, I hope. I can't say that I worry that like BET this venture might fall short of the seemingly innocuous ideals set forth. At the very least, it might inspire BET to approach the straight and narrow, since henceforth protestations from segments of the black community have done little to amend the situations.
I can't say that I know that it won't succeed. Even for a lack of lyrical skills (IMHO- LOL) Mr. Miller has been a successful entrepreneur and CEO of a major organization. He has to get credit for that. I think I've been awed by his growth over the years, I think much of which can be attributed to his hustler spirit and fatherhood. He set an example for his son and they continue to do good things, including their joint venture into starting a clean record label called "Take A Stand."
I think this project is promising, if not only to inspire other folks to make change. Too often we think that because something already exists for black people, that means it is the only organization that can exist. That's a marginal mentality. No one notices that nearly every other cable network could be considered a "white" organization. Whenever a new cable channel begins, it is at odds with other cable channels for those ever important Nielsen ratings. Black channel(s) -- well channel to date but channels come August 2009 -- should be no different.
Furthermore, folks in marginalized communities often tolerate sub par businesses, customer service etc. because we think "We have to support" or because there is known alternative. It's as if it is essential part of bLaK-ness (whether your Black, Latino, a woman, gay, transgender or otherwise). But it just takes ONE person to add something to it and give you options that can change the game.
So don't sleep on my boy Percy. I'm willing to give him an opportunity to give us something we can be proud of. And trust, the man is NO dummy.
"BBTV advisory board members include Oscar winner Denzel Washington; Vault Load Films president Jim Finkl; NAACP executive director Vicangelo Bullock; NBA player Derek Anderson; cable industry veteran Prof. Sal Martino; hip-hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc and entrepreneur Olatokunbo Betiku." (The Gazette)Check out the Preliminary List of Better Black Television Programming:
-- Sunset and Vine -- Hosted by Vyshonn Miller and BrittanyThe site opens with a playlist of music (lyrics cool, but family friendly content questionable LOL).
Phillips -- This video show will showcase the top 8 at 8pm, the top
hip-hop and R&B acts as well as play classic videos and will feature
a section where you can vote on new indie unsigned artists who will
showcase their talent and the audience will have the option to place
them in the "You Pick It Video" section by voting for them online.
-- One Shot Comedy Show -- will consist of clean hilarious comedy and
will be hosted by Gary Johnson (a.k.a. G-Thing) and some of the
funniest comedians around. It will give upcoming comedians the
opportunity to hit the stage.
-- Gee Gee the Giraffe -- Children's educational show featuring Gee Gee
the Giraffe, a magical friend that takes kids on educational
adventures focused on reading and writing. (Will air on BBTV Kids
Saturday Morning Show).
-- Manage Your Money -- Featuring financially successful people lending
information to viewers to help promote financial literacy.
-- Close to the Starz -- A behind the scenes show that takes the viewers
up close and personal to their favorite celebrities.
-- Karma TV Show -- Bilingual soap opera with an African-American and
-- What's Cooking TV Show -- Talk show that covers wide aspects of
entertainment and current events while cooking and enjoying a good
meal. The host and guests prepare healthy, budget-conscious meals.
-- The Black List Movies -- Family friendly content featuring or created
by top filmmakers and actors. From the classics of the past to the
biggest stars of today, from original BBTV productions to quality
independents, you'll find them on "The Black List."
-- Hip-Hop Garage Show -- Saturday show that will play nothing but the
hottest new and upcoming artists in their latest music videos and
interviews selected with content appropriate to BBTV's mission and
What do you think of the venture?