WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ebony and Ivory

So one day I was watching The View and it was after a series of break ups by white Hollywood couples: Bruce and Demi, Tom and Nicole, etc. So Chris Rock was a guest on the show and Joy Beyhar asks, “weren’t you just devastated by the break up of [insert white Hollywood couple here]. And Chris is all, “no, not really.” And the white women were all, WHAT? And one of them asks, “well did anyone’s Hollywood break up shock you?” And he goes, “yes, Phylicia and Ahmad Rashad.” [Insert guffaw upon guffaw by Rum Punch] I laughed soo damn hard at this. Mainly because Joy, Meredith and Elizabeth all had wtf looks on their faces. Priceless.

When Roots drummer Questlove was detained by the DEA after an international flight, he wrote this on his blog: it was just so fucking degrading man. that is all i can describe it as. i'm sitting there like how am i gonna convince these guys that this dude with 30 dollar old navy jeans (white boy shit) and a 3000 dollar louis bag (n***a shit) and 5 figures in cash (white boy shit) and a coach seat (n***a shit) and a story of stadiums sold out across the world (n***a shit) but can't name a hit song of his (white boy shit) (and what the hell is you doing in buffalo of all places (white boy question) followed by my "shrug" (n***a response). add on top of that my cd collection: the sly and the family stone box set and ladies of the canyon (joni mitchell) what kind of mofo is this?

I think Questlove accurately described some “differences” between the races. And Chris Rock proved that sometimes blacks and whites care about different things. Yes, in this post Obama election world, where allegedly race doesn't matter, as hard as we try to deny/ignore/forget it, white people and black people are different. It ain’t a bad thing. It’s just reality. Yes, I know that we are all human and shit, but often times we approach the world differently. What matters in the black world may not matter in white society. And vice versa. What black folk celebrate (like Kwanzaa –ha!, and HBCU homecoming queens and boul├ęs and leaders in our community) aren't being celebrated, let alone acknowledged by white people. They don’t even register on their radar.

And this is why JET and EBONY are so important. Yeah I said it and I meant it. Now I know that these magazines often catch a lot of flack, especially that damn Beauty of the Week and the Top 20 hits that are always the same. But man they stay on top of black events. Of course it gets to you a week late and the internet may have already provided you with the information. But often times there are little known events that have happened in the black community, like the passing of Roscoe Lee Brown, or the 90-year-old washerwoman who saved a million dollars and donated it to an HBCU, or that this day in history the first black woman was elected to the Georgia Supreme Court that no one else is covering or thinking about. And let’s not forget the marriage section in JET! Where else do you see multiple black couples getting married and an old black couple celebrating 50+ years of marriage, thus proving that black love STILL exists? Only in JET man, only in JET!

I know that some people call these publications bougie, some call them outdated, some say they are no longer needed. But I say we do need them. And since Linda Johnson Rice has really taken over Johnson Publications, EBONY has a new look and has really stepped its layout and article game up. And both these magazines are still committed to telling our stories. Yes, our stories. The things that matter and happen in our community. Our health, financial, social issues. Our accomplishments that need to be heralded. The things that get overlooked by the mainstream media.

I encourage everyone to check out John H. Johnson's book Succeeding Against the Odds and read about the vision he had of celebrating what black people were doing when he created these publications. Things ain't changed that much. And then I encourage everyone to buy one JET or one EBONY and read it without any hateration, holleration. And maybe then step it up to a subscription and keep it on your coffee table like your grandmomma used to. Yes, we are moving towards a mulicultural society (full of telemundo and Spanish only publications-see where I'm going with this), but we also need and deserve publications where we are the headline, the feature, the main story and not a footnote or a "special." Where we are celebrated and educated. Where our voices matter and are heard. If we don't, who will? And then what?

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!


CapriceClassic said...

I agree. I used to subscribe to Ebony back in the day, but I was never a real fan of Jet.
Even back then I would read news stories in Ebony that weren't "newsworthy" enough for the mainstream, and I always seemed to be the first to know amongst my friends.
At any rate, although I've switched to the internet for news, if Ebony or Jet was ever in jeopardy of going out of business, I'd subscribe and even round up my homies to do the same.

cinco said...

Just as I was preparing to cancel renewals of Jet/Essence you put this out.

I recycle my mags via Wk but I hadn't considered a few viewpoints pi mentioned. One thing I have done is make it available on my coffee table.

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Coco said...

Standing ovation! This post was much needed in this world and I am glad that I got to read it.

The Breaking Point said...

Dude's blog is HILARIOUS!!! And 100,000 per cent accurate. Damn I wish people would be that honest all of the time.

Rum Punch said...

@ CapriceClassic - Glad to know we're on the same page! Hopefully Ebony and Jet will be able to sustain in these modern, ever changing times...

@ cinco - Glad to give you another viewpoint.

@ Coco - Well thank you very much! Glad you enjoyed it!

@ The Breaking Point - Yes, ?love has quite a way with words. I loves it!