Wednesday, February 22, 2012


So sorry for not making a post in awhile, but I have not had too much time to write.  With this being the last week in Black History Month, I am going to talk about my favorite black shows that did not get a last episode.  Back when we had actual sitcoms on television instead of all the reality TV mess (I’m over the Basketball Wives, Mob Wives, should be called Hot Mess Ex-Wives) there were some good TV shows.  The late 90’s and early 2000’s gave us some great shows like Moesha, Girlfirends, and Everybody Hates Chris.  And unfortunately all these shows went off the air without as much as a goodbye. 

Black shows leaving television without a series finale is not new.  In the 80’s, Sherman Hemsley better known as George Jefferson from The Jeffersons found out that the show was canceled by reading it in the paper.  I am not one to throw the “race card” but black shows do not always get the respecting farewell they deserve.  I will always have a bitter place in my heart for these shows’ abrupt exit:

Moesha If you were a young black person in the mid-90’s, every Monday night your TV was on UPN and you were glued to your screen watching the latest Moesha episode.  We literally watched Brandy grow up before our eyes.  We loved her girls, Kim and Niecy.  And toward the end we were torn between Moesha choosing between Hakeem and Q.  The last season the show took a very serious turn.  We found out that Dorian or “D-Money” was Frank’s son instead of his nephew and Moesha was in her feelings about that every week.  Then the next to last episode leaves us with a cliff hanger: Myles gets kidnapped.  Then the next week…… no show and no explanation of why there was no show.  I felt cheated considering that I had supported the show for so long.  Yes, I am STILL bitter about this.

Girlfriends I LOVED this show.  It was truly the black version of Sex and The City.  This show took not so famous black actresses and made them famous.  Joan, Toni, Maya, and Lynn gave us LIFE every week.  And William was freakin awesome considering the fact he was the only male lead on the show.  Every week we wondered if Joan would find love and we cheered Maya on for her book Oh, Hell Naw. The first downfall was when Jill Marie Jones (Toni) left the show.  William’s new wife I guess was supposed to take her place, but the show was never quite the same.  Then Joan finally got a man but in pure Joan fashion something had to be wrong.  In this case, her fiancĂ© was in Iraq for the war.  So we were not sure if we would see her get married or not.  Around this same time, TV writers went on strike and some shows suffered including Girlfriends.  Girlfriends never got a finale but, hey, at least we got a spin-off, The Game (by the way, is anyone still watching that show?).

Everybody Hates Chris For this last show I might be at fault for this show not having a finale.  This show had a slow start. It was based off the comedian Chris Rock’s life.  Tichina Arnold (aka Pam from Martin) played Rochelle, Chris’s mom.   And she was just as hilarious on this show as she was Martin. Tyler James Williams played the title character and he was hilarious. Terry Crews played Chris’ penny-pitching dad, Julius (You just spilled 42 cents of milk on that table, lol).  The next to last episode left the same way Moesha left us, with a cliffhanger.  We were left wondering if Chris ever got his GED. What I do remember about this show is that it premiered during the transition from UPN to CW and CW started moving the black shows to all these weird times.  So honestly, I never knew the show’s timeslot.  By the time we realized this was a good show, it had already been cancelled.  But we can still check out the reruns on BET.

As I was writing this post I realized all these shows were on the once UPN network.  This was the channel that was giving our shows a chance to thrive and get a fan base.  These shows showed black people in a positive light and I will always love these shows for that.  I hate they did not get their farewells but I like to think that these casts will reassemble and give us the finale we (or at least me) want to see.  *crosses fingers

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


February 11, 2012 we lost a legend in the music industry, Ms. Whitney Houston.  No matter race, nationality, gender, age, or music preference, all knew Whitney Houston and her music.  Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Ms. Houston became an international star.  People could not believe such a huge, beautiful voice came out of such a small woman.  Whitney could hit notes very few vocalists could.  I have many memories of listening to my Whitney Houston tapes (yes, I am a child of the 90’s) in my room and trying my best to hit the notes (and failing terribly) the way she did.  Over and over again, I would sing How Will I Know, Greatest Love of All, Saving All My Love, and You Give Good Love.  I had both Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife soundtrack on tape and listened and learned all of Whitney’s songs.  As a child, I wished I had just a 1/4 of what Whitney had. 

Like me, many artists also looked up to Whitney Houston.  Jennifer Hudson and Brandy are artists that have said that Houston was one of their early influences. No one in the industry can deny that Whitney Houston was one of the greatest voices of our time.  Houston made it possible for Beyonce and Rihanna to crossover from R&B to Pop.  Along with her music, she has starred in classics like Waiting to Exhale, The Preacher’s Wife and The Bodyguard.  And we cannot forget her signature hit I Will Always Love You, which very few vocalists are able to cover. 

But along with her success she also had her struggles.  Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, once said in an interview that she did not want her daughter to get involved in the music industry because of the dangers of it.  We were given a front row seat to those dangers.  Whitney would admit in interviews with Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey about her drug use.  Magazines and blog sites showed us pictures of Whitney being at a frightening small size and sweating profusely.  She had started to cancel shows and when she would do a show her voice was not the same big, beautiful voice that we remembered.  Some blamed her now ex-husband Bobby Brown for her behavior.  Regardless, we saw a singer we all know and love be broken down by something that was bigger than her.

Since her passing, some would prefer that her past with drug abuse not be brought up in conversation.  I also agree that we should remember more of her successes than her struggles but her struggles should at some point be discussed.  And not to taint her memory but so anyone struggling with addictions can see what could happen to them if they do not get their life in control.  I know that the autopsy reports have not come back so we do not know the cause of her death.  But let her struggles be a reference of how a substance that can fit in the palm of your hand can take down even the biggest stars.

I Will Always Love Whitney Houston

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I originally wrote this back in July 2011.  To jump off Black History Month, I have chose to repost for your enlightment.  Read futher about how NAACP banned a piece of Black History
"Today I watched a documentary on the first all black cast tv show 'Amos and Andy'.  This past June the show turned 60 years old.  If you have never heard of the show, it's excusable.  The show has not been seen in syndication since 1966.  The NAACP had it banned from tv forever because they felt it portrayed black people in a "negative light."  Well, I got to see an episode and I have to admit that I did not share the same conclusion with the NAACP.  So I have to ask, was it really necessary for the NAACP to ban this show?
Let's remember that the show was made in the 1950's, not the most political correct era.  The premise of the show was Kingfish was always doing these get-rich-quick schemes and most of the time he would dupe Andy in the scheme.  Amos was the narrator in the show.  Let it be known that none of the actors or actresses in the show ever felt degraded while playing these characters. They were actually proud to be on a show where black people were being depicted as professionals rather than maids and butlers.  Were they being silly and exaggerated?  Well of course, it's a comedy!  Ernestine Wade, the actress who played Sapphire, brought out the point that you don't watch a comedy to be educated.  Marla Gibbs, best known as Florence on The Jeffersons and Mary on 227, also brought out that it was a good show and the show was not saying that this was how all black people acted.  But that we all knew someone who acted like these characters. 
Which brings me to my next point: was it really necessary to ban the show from tv forever? As stated before the NAACP fought CBS from the show's premier to get the show off the air.  They saw it as an extreme negative portrayal of black people.  What they did not see was a show that was making it possible for future shows like 'I Spy', 'The Cosbys', 'Family Matters' and 'The Game'.  They did not see a show that broke the stereotypes by providing roles to black performers where they were doctors, lawyers, and businessmen.  All they could see was black people being silly on television ( as I stated before the show was a comedy). 
When I watch television today I'm more appalled at what we do allow on tv to represent black people ( Real Housewives of Atlanta, Basketball Wives, Soul Plane).  All these shows set our race back a whole lot further than 'Amos and Andy'.   What the NAACP did was ban a part of black history.  I think the NAACP needs a sense of humor."