Monday, February 8, 2010

Honoring Black History Month

I was up late the Saturday night channel surfing. The Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) was showing "Beauty Shop" starring Queen Latifah. I enjoy the movie every time I happen upon it and this time was no exception. What bothered me was Lifetime promoting the movie in celebration of Black History Month. Of all the rich and wonderful history we have to celebrate, LMN thinks Beauty Shop celebrates our story? The only thing that depicts Black History in that movie was a picture of Madame C.J. Walker on the wall of the shop! That's it.

To be fair, I did check out the other movies they offered for the month long "celebration" and found "The Fantasia Barrino Story", "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge", and "Sins of the Mother", starring Jill Scott.

There is nothing wrong with any of these movies, but there is something very wrong with trotting these selections out and calling them Black History. Towards the end of the movie though, Queen Latifah did sum up our history very well. She finally responded to the man who tried to destroy her and the shop by saying, "The thing is, you didn't break me, I'm still standing, and you will never ever intimidate me."

On the other hand, VH1 made the weekend spotlighting Soul Train in the Rock Docs series. If you want to spend an enjoyable hour and a half going down memory lane with the music, the fashion, the talent, and the back story of how Soul Train was conceived, and how the genius of Don Cornelius kept it on the air for OVER 30 seasons. Check your listings for it-it's a must see and worthy to be celebrated during Black History Month.

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