Sunday, October 23, 2005

TV + Black Comedy

I went to the Talawa Unzipped sessions at the Soho Theatre last week. On Saturday, there was a good discussion about Black comedy, i.e. comedy about Black people/people of African heritage. Personally, I think it is important to have comedy that reflects our culture and our experience. In the States, there was the Cosby show and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and then Bernie Mack. None of these really addressed racism but they did reflect Black people’s experience to a certain extent, and showed Black family life within a positive context.

In Britain, there have been several highly successful Asian comedy TV shows including Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars at No. 54. So why are Asian comic writers and performers so much more successful than ours? We cannot just say it is because we are experiencing racism. The people at the BBC commissioning editors are all white, but they commission Asian comedy, so why not ours?

To be fair, BBC has aired Three Non Blondes.

What needs to happen in order for more people of African heritage to become Commissioning Editors at the BBC and other stations?

Ligali are on the case, monitoring the media and its coverage of African British people.

Click here to visit Talawa's site.

Keywords: Black people and media; African people and media; theatre; comedy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Zhana:

I found your blog through your posting on the Black Buddhists list-serv and wish to share this quote with you that I think answers the question, (or at least attempts to), from Frederick Douglass, one of our greatest thinkers:

"This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Pwer concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly subit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress." -- Frederick Douglass, 1857

Bottom line? It will be as it is for as long as we people of color allow it to be; for as long as we support these systems financially and otherwise. We in the States who continue to pay hard earned money to watch oppressive, degrading television shows and movies feed the system that oppresses and only when we stop doing that and start pressing our agenda will things change.
I'm enjoying your blog.

In peace and in struggle,