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This past week was marking Juneteenth which coincidentally happened to coincide the same week of the premiere of Love and Hip Hop Atlanta. Juneteenth is symbloic celebration of the ending of legal slavery in the United States This guest post is from Desiree Mullins (@imdesi) of Lovelivedesi.com. She is going to talk about Juneteenth and how it’s ironic the way black people are displayed on reality TV.
As I read tweets and other online commentary regarding current reality shows on this Juneteenth day, my soul weeps. 147 years after Lincoln signed the paper, yet slavery still survived. I did not watch the show, I don’t really watch TV at all but based on what I read, it’s not something I want to entertain. I know TV is a source of entertainment and is the way for some to wind down after a long day, but how far is too far when reaching for entertainment? There is a time for everything, but how long is too long for nonsense and negativity to be glorified? How long is too long to watch people who are supposed to represent an entire race portray every stereotype we claim is offensive when pointed out by someone of a different race? How long is too long for us to accept these mental whippings from the media which keep us distracted from the fact that just as a piece of paper doesn’t prove you’re educated, it doesn’t prove that you’re free either?
Juneteenth is considered independence day for African-Americans, the day slavery was officially abolished in Texas in 1865. Though Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation a few years prior, some places were slow to catch on but when Texas did, it declared Juneteenth, a merging of June and the date the 19th, a day to celebrate. In 1890, it became an official holiday. It boggles my mind that so many people don’t know what or when Juneteenth is. Our ancestors have to be turning over in their graves and shaking their heads at us thinking everything they did was in vain. They worked harder than we will ever have to, with way fewer resources and transcended their circumstances so that they could reach beyond their potential to afford us the luxuries we have today.
When I go over our history, I am proud, I am inspired, I am excited because I know that if so many of them were great and we share the same blood, then I too am great. What better way to thank them for all they accomplished and the legacies they left behind than to keep their memory alive by utilizing my mind to free myself of this modern day slavery? So many of us are stuck in a life of lack mindset. We have accepted beliefs that we only need so much instead of going for it all because going for it all requires too much work. And as a result we end up with even less than we aim for. We lead jaded, narrow-minded lives failing to see how much is here for our taking. I cannot control the media but I can control what I choose to be fed by it.
Where are the reality shows dedicated to the African-Americans chasing dreams and making moves to leave their mark in the universe and emphasizing the importance of a rich spirit? Where are the reality shows I can watch and relate to when I need to see someone successfully in the life path I’m also choosing for myself so that I can draw inspiration from them? I guess until then I can use these shows as fuel and an example of how not to end up, but positive encouragement helps too.
We sit and watch people live their life while time ticks away and our own life passes us by for sport. Anything to distract us from having to take responsibility for our own lives. Because not only do we just watch this show for the half an hour or hour that it’s on, we spend even more time discussing the show’s irrelevant events and when the convo is over we’re right where we were when it started. As long as someone watches these, the media will keep feeding them to us. I’d rather starve. My frequency doesn’t vibrate with shows like that and I’d rather not lower it. Until more documentaries and primetime slots are filled with people who represent disillusioned, limitless minds are given the kind of shine drama filled reality shows are, I’ll be somewhere reading about our past heroes and living to keep their legacy alive through me. Break the chains and see past the distractions, your life is yours to create. Change your thoughts, change your life.
- Happy Juneteenth (I think) – Let’s Get Free (brownbetty253.com)
- Reversing A Culture of Ignorance: Lil Boosie is NOT a Political Prisoner (ashy2classy.net)
- Juneteenth: Whispers of Freedom (writerzblockblog.wordpress.com)
- President Obama issues Juneteenth proclamation (thegrio.com)
- Un-Lynched: An Economic Empowerment Doctrine for African-Americans (Part 1) (up4discussion.org)
- Push and Kick: Dear White People… (ashy2classy.net)