Thursday, July 24, 2008

What We Saw About Blacks in America

Part 2 of the CNN landmark documentary, Blacks in America, took a different approach than part 1. But, the end result was same-- a more complete picture of an aspect of society that often is uncovered.

Almost the entire first hour of tonight's installment focused on two African-American men who were attending Little Rock Arkansas' Central High at the same time as the school was being integrated.

For those of who did not live during the Civil Rights era, we often think of those figures from that era as being mythic and near-perfect because of their place in history.

What we saw in part two were two men who had the greatest intentions of achieving in spite of the color of the skin. Both eventually have achieved great things, but they are not without their imperfections.

Sometimes in television news, we want to focus on the extremes-- all good or all bad. In these brothers' stories on CNN's "Black in America" documentary we saw the good can also be sprinkled with the bad when the reality of raising a family in an imperfect world hits.

I could see myself in so many of the stories in this second installment. I vividly remember having a very heated discussion with my sisters at Howard University about the possibility of marrying outside of one's race. That issue came front-and-center in the experiences of one of the families features in the second installment.

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