Life’s a funny thing.
Every time I turn on the television people who look like me are dancing, running, jumping high or booty shaking.
It seems as though the media is giving blacks a bad rap.
The only time you see a black man on the news is after somebody has been shot or winning an award at a show.
Then, on the news when they do interview blacks, they always find the only ghetto black girl in attendance.
You know, the loud, country, long nails and tall hair girl.
She is then put on national television popping gum and smacking her teeth saying things like, “Yeah, I had seen eeerythang.”
If all you ever saw on television was Ray-Ray and “them” with grills in their mouths and tattoos everywhere, then that’s what you would want to be.
No wonder so many black men want to be rappers and athletes.
And judging from what is presented on television, it makes perfect sense for young black girls to want to be models or dancers.
For example, I never grew up wanting to be a politician. I wanted to be in the NBA like Allen Iverson.
What we see in the media has such an impact on our daily lives.
I even grew my hair out in an effort to resemble my role model, Iverson.
I wanted to be like Iverson because he made a lot of money, had nice cars and was famous. He was the closest thing to success that I had seen.
It wasn’t until I got older that I wanted to be like my father, to be able to provide for my family and make sure they have everything they need.
There are no shows that appeal to young audiences that show us doing more than dunking a basketball and “backing that thing up.”
It is said by the Urban Research Review Journal that research on black children reveals that they are especially susceptible to the effects of television.
They watch more of it, are more likely to believe in the “reality” of television and are more likely than other children to say that they identify with television characters.
And unfortunately, television has the potential to play a major role in their socialization.
It’s these images on television that cause black children to grow up with ill-advised perceptions of themselves.
Just think about it.
If you are not black and do not have any black friends, how would you get an image of blacks in America?
If all you knew about blacks were the images you saw on television, how would you perceive them?
Royle King is a junior broadcast journalism student from Dallas. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.