Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Awkward, and So Can You!

I think this may be the best thing I've seen on youtube in an entire year.

Welcome to The Misadventures of AWKWARD Black Girl.

I think I was talking with someone recently about how I haven't seen any programming on B.E.T. for about 10 years now. Ever since Bob Johnson sold the network to Viacom, the caricatures of black folks on that channel have been nothing short of toxic and destructive. This deterioration has caused an inevitable ripple throughout mainstream media, making it okay for radio and television to perpetuate and exaggerate these images across the cultural landscape.

The brilliance of this web series is the levels of complexity and sincerity with which the life of a black women is explored. I feel the general perception is that black women are perpetually confident and assertive in all environments. Sometimes I wonder if black women even allow themselves to take advantage of this. (I know I would!)

But the idea of black women feeling nervousness, or insecurity, or inadequacy is probably a relatively new concept for a lot of people in this society. I know I've met many people in my travels who've grown up with very little multicultural interaction outside of images in the media. Much of our initial conversations have frequently involved tackling a backlog of stereotypical information they've received from third and forth-hand sources, and inviting them into a more complete understanding of my experience as an American of African decent.

I watched all seven of these videos and they keep getting better and better. Go check 'em all out here. (It's a link to the playlist. Just let it roll.) You will be hooked!


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