There is a lot that can be said is negative about the African American experience in America. Many of us face racism, whether blatant or subtle, on a daily basis. The media is constantly showing every negative image of us that it can find or manufacture.
So it's very easy as a blogger to focus on the bad and sometimes not recognize the good even when it's right in front of our faces. I have seen a really good example of people in the blogisphere focusing on the negative when it would have been just as easy and more productive to focus on the positive.
Monday night ABC aired a version of Lorraine Hansberry's classic American drama A Raisin in the Sun. Even before it aired I read many posts decrying it as a travesty. I repeat; that was before the broadcast even aired. Mainly it seemed that people were upset with the choice of Shawn Combs aka P. Diddy to play the role of Walter Lee.
After the TV version aired many people compared ABC's version of A Raisin in the Sun to the original film starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and others. Sure it's tempting to compare the two but ultimately it's setting the TV version up for failure.
It's not reasonable to compare a film made for theatrical release to one made for TV. There is less money involved in television productions, the talent on and off camera will likely be less experienced and sometimes less talented.
I watched Monday night's airing of A Raisin In The Sun and I was happy to see African Americans portrayed as complicated and thoughtful people. To see such portrayals is rare indeed on the small screen or even on the big screen.
We are fed a constant diet of comedy and buffoonery on TV. We see African Americans portrayed as criminals, and usually stupid criminals, whores, rappers and miscreants.
So I celebrate ABC's version of A Raisin In The Sun. Will it win any Emmy Awards? Likely not but it was an island of realness in a sea of stereotypes.
And for that I say bravo!
Hopefully all the negative chatter about the movie will not prevent other networks, either cable or broadcast, from stepping outside the norm and producing more films that tell unique slices of African American life.
ABC's A Raisin in the Sun was a victory, it was a victory for those of us who are tired of what's on BET and VH1 and rap videos and Tyler Perry films (that mock Black women). It's just too bad that many people were so busy looking for a defeat that they missed the victory.
Did you watch A Raisin in the Sun on ABC Monday Night?
What did you think of it?