Saturday, July 18, 2009

B.E.T: Ignoring the 'Others'. Who's at fault?


It's obvious that there seems to be a lack of acknowledgement by popular media culture of blacks in any form of alternative music, art, profession, etc. My question is, why? And even more specifically, a lack of acknowledgement from black people themselves. I've contemplated this for a while now and I've come up with these few conclusions:

Is it just ignorance of the scene in general? (as in it's so rare/unique that it doesn't deserve attention yet?)

Is the media (both black and corporate white) wanting to portray black people a certain way for ratings/money reasons?

Is it easier to label black people, as a whole, into one category rather then defining them by individual traits.


But then I started to think of the socioeconomic part of all this, especially when considering the black media. I got to thinking of the different options kids in low income homes have in regards to branching out of what they know and getting exposed to a different lifestyle. I've grown up quite differently from a lotof black people that I personally know and they point that out to me by the way I dress, talk, act, who I'm friends with, what I listen to, what school I went to, etc. And I'm starting to realize that a lot of the black people I'm friends with and/or meet at concerts have grown up similar to me-which is middle class maybe upper middle class. So from a young age I've been exposed to different ideas/cultures that perhaps my counterparts have yet to be. How can they be consciously aware of a movement or idea that they have never been a part of or exposed to? Should they be expected to be actively involved?


Could the reasons why the black media is shunning this certain small community be because its not massively relatable on a national sense?


B.E.T., as most of you may know, is the black entertainment channel. A few weeks (or a month)ago, B.E.T had their annual awards show and all I could think about was 'Why don't they have a best black male/female in metal, opera, rock, etc'. I think I now know so I'm going to narrow it down to three things:

1.) There aren't many musicians/entertainers to choose from in that category. It's rare that a black person be into those scenes-I get it.

2.) There isn't a great knowledge of any of it. Most people don't even know what Afropunk is or the BRC (Black Rock Coalition), and I can understand that.

3.) It's not very relatable to most black folks.


So, I think it boils down to that. I just wish there would be some mass media recognition of it though. Black people can be so much more than what we are CONSTANTLY portrayed as-wouldn't it just mix things up a bit if we weren't so categorized?

Anyway, I want your thoughts/opinions.
(BTW, sorry for lack of updates. Been preparing for college and sorting out all other assorted drama.)

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

luke sez...

They could start by giving Candiria an award for 300% Density,(even though I know Carley Coma is the only black member) they'd only be a decade late...

The new one is quite good too "Kiss the Lie" check it out.

Ps. BET is a f*cking joke, the entire station needs to go kill themselves.

Anonymous said...

the show Boondocks describes BET so accurately it's frightening.

The Black Girl into Heavy Metal said...

@Luke-Yeah, I so agree. The only reason I was watching the award show was because I was at my sisters and couldn't get out of it. Or they could honor Suffocation, something,ANYTHING!
BET is such a poison but sadly it is consumed by many.
I'll check that "Kiss the Lie' out.
Thanks for the comment.

Wotan said...

1) Metal is not very popular. Best bands of Metal sell 10 000 cd at most contrary to the other musical styles. The industry of the music is capitalist and is rotten by money.
2) Metal is difficult of access and asks for a big investment for be appreciated, contrary to the other musical styles who asks for no effort. Metal doesn’t serve very well the consumer society.
3) Metal is violent and dark contrary to the other musical styles. People prefer what is peaceful.
4) Every community lives separately with their particular culture. Folk Metal or the Pagan Metal for example develop subjects being inspired by the European culture, and not by the African culture. I see badly a black to pray Odin. White rappers are a few for the same reasons.
5) The blacks are less adventurous and curious than the whites. It’s for that reason that we see more whites being interested in African culture, that blacks being interested in the European culture. People are locked into their culture and their community. And all those who go beyond their community circle are perceived as traitors or eccentrics.

MPP said...

I agree wholeheartedly that the media likes to put minorities into nice little homogenous boxes; as an Indian girl, I'm so used to morons making "quickie-mart" jokes at me. Or better yet, people thinking we're all Al-Qaeda (India IS NOT in the middle east; if you are going to engage in racial profiling, at least get your races straight!) And I agree with you that it is quite possible that a lot of black people might not be exposed to these different forms of music and art. But, if BET and the other stations don't display blacks in those alternative venues, how will it really change? It's a vicious cycle. And progress is usually very slow (unfortunately).

The Black Girl into Heavy Metal said...

@MPP-Thank you so much for your opinion! It's great hearing from different cultures especially when it pertains to this scene.It always amazes me the ignorance of most people when it comes to ethnicities and geographic locations. Don't let it get you down though. I think America has a way of doing that to everyone. The effeminate Asian male, the Indian shopkeeper, the Black American thug/rapper, etc.
It is a vicious cycle that desperately needs change.
Welcome to the blog.

MilesPerHour said...

Down and dirty - it doesn't sell. The ratings would suck. Those types are shows are for the masses, not for us individuals.

Sketch said...

BET isn't about black people...it's owned by Viacom,okay? Viacom is about whatever sells.

Anonymous said...

i'm soo late on this hahahaha, but I shall add my two cents anyway.

I'm not really into metal save for a couple of songs here or there. I am more into indie, punk, alternative. anyway i'm not from a middle class backround at all. I am from what some people may call the "ghetto" in philly, however i was always into rock and other things that people think are white. believeit or not there are plenty of black people from the same background who love rock/ metal.
The problem with that is that kids like me had to fight, physically fight ( i got into three separate fights. One because i was wearing a band tee and defended myself because these girls decided to tell me i was trying to be white) I believe that anger is a mixture of ignorance and anger. "it's like how dare you like something that isn't from your community" bleh.
It's so funny since many forms of rock have their roots in black/african music......

This turned out to be too long hahahaha anyway just wanted to say black people who like metal and other forms of rock are in the hood too :D

The Black Girl into Heavy Metal said...

@Anon-Thanks for the comment! I didn't mean it to sound exclusionary in terms of by economic classes. I do realize black people who are into the music we are into can come from everywhere! (Hell-take my post of Heavy Metal in Africa).
No matter it comes from, I'm just glad it's happening and your comment made tons of sense.
Welcome, btw.

Anonymous said...

Actually, BET used to showcase some artsists/groups that can be cosnidered Hard Rock/Heavy Metal back in the day (mid-late 1980s-early-mid 1990s).

Example:

Sound Barrier, All-Black rock group from Los Angeles, CA; they had a video called "Rock Without the Roll" was played around 1985.

Lenny Kravitz

Bootsy Collins - Yeah he's more R&B/Funk, but they played a video he did with Buckethead and Bill Laswell of Material, under the name "Axiom Funk", which covered Jimi Hendrix's "If 6 Was 9".

Living Colour

Fishbone

Body Count

Bad Brains

The problem isn't BET; its the viewers. Since the majority wanted to see more rap/gospel/R&B/soul, then BET catered to them more (just like MTV focused more on alternative during that time).

Gwetting rid of BET ain't gonna solve anything....THINK ABOUT IT!!!

The Black Girl into Heavy Metal said...

@last Anon: Whoa, I totally didn't know that! All I see them play nowdays is Gospel and Rap/RnB.
But its very true that the viewers are the ones who are messing it up for us-but realistically they are the majority and we are the minority. When has the minority ever had much of a say in anything?

Nonworshipper (TZ Zine) said...

Who cares about BET? Metalheads need to ignore that kind of media crap. It's all poisonous. They all need to end. Besides, they'd just get Wicked Wisdom to stink the place up with their metal embarrassment. WW was so painful to see birth. Those "10,000 Pound Fist" and "Bleed All Over Me" songs weren't even laughable, they were "just load the gun and pull the trigger now and you won't have to hear anymore of this-able."

Viagra said...

You have a point here, Black people are much more than what television or the media are showing, but you have also to make notice that no one (including the black) expects any black performer to be into rock, heavy, opera or anything else... unfortunately the culture is what has made this.