Black & White Meet: Race & Reconciliation

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On Friday April 11th at 21:00 (ET), MSNBC will host the premiere of a powerful docu-movie called Meeting David Wilson.  I highly recommend that you watch this incredible film, which looks at race and the legacy of slavery in an original and moving way. This really is a story of hope and reconciliation.

About the film: 

David Wilson, a 28-year-old African-American journalist (and a good friend of mine), journeys into his family’s past to find answers to America’s racial divide. Along the way he meets another David Wilson, a 62 year old white man who is the descendant of his family’s slave master. This discovery leads to a momentous encounter between these two men of the same name but whose ancestors were on the opposite sides of freedom. Through DNA testing, David determines his African roots and returns to his native land.

Will their worlds collide? How will they deal with the gravity of their family’s histories and issues like reparations?

MSNBC Live Event
NBC News will air a live discussion immediately following “Meeting David Wilson,” at 10:30 p.m. ET on MSNBC. The live discussion, which will be broadcast from Howard University’s Washington, D.C. campus and stream live on msnbc.com, will focus on racial themes in America. “NBC Nightly News” Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams will moderate the event. Williams will be joined by “Today” Correspondent Tiki Barber.

Watch the film’s trailer here: 

Being Positive…

I read the government’s recent report  with interest. It is part of their project to “raise the aspirations, attainment and achievement of Black boys and young Black men, enabling them to reach their potential”.

I found it ironic that one of the key suggestions was that black boys need better role models and media representation, yet here is a report that is just one more body of research (albeit with some good suggestions) which highlights the apparent underachievement and low aspirations of black men! 

Also, this study was conducted through talking to 400 black men…and from those 400 they came to the conclusion that black men in general (not just those 400) have low aspirations?! Talk about generalizing and stereotyping!!

If the government wants to raise aspirations, why not conduct a report into the high achievers, the success stories and ask them how they did it? Wouldn’t that provide a much more positive story and model for the very people that they say so desperately need it?

The report acknowledges that there are success stories, yet ignores this in order to focus on the failings. If you want to achieve success, don’t you look at those who have got it already and see how it can be duplicated? We have heard about black underachievement over and over again for so long and it’s kinda boring…

The government cannot call on the media to give positive representation of people of colour, when it continues to churn out the same old stories about low achievement itself. There is another side to the story – let’s hear it please!  

Maybe, similar to accusations levelled at the self-help industry, there is actually now an industry based entirely on the woes of people of colour… ? Booker T.Washington once made this insightful comment: “There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”