It could be argued that no matter what CNN produced for Black In America 2 there would be gripes. There would be complaints about quality and whether or not the documentary was “for us, by us” or “for them, by them.” There was going to be hell no matter what. Still, that didn’t quite prepare me for Thursday’s final installment that featured an uneven mishmash of stories that seemed lacking in detail, once again long on emotion and short on substance.
I gave Thursday night’s segment a “fail” due to its unevenness in presentation and how a few of the issues seemed to have little to do with “blackness” and everything to do with typical problems everyone faces (re: the marriage segment where they made it seem like the couple just needed to “do it” more often). The lot felt scripted, from the girl who mentioned healthy food on a McDonald’s menu on a night sponsored by McDonalds, to the choice of director Tyler Perry as a pioneer when Turner Broadcasting owns both the network that airs his sitcoms and CNN. Other times, it was frustrating. Like when correspondent Soledad O’Brien failed to point out the irony in a man robbing a legal medicinal marijuana grower when he originally went to prison for selling drugs. Here’s a state where you can grow and sell marijuana for “medicinal use” and he was still operating with the mindset of a small-time drug dealer. But chance for irony missed.
I did enjoy the segments on Gregory Canada’s youth fitness program and the barbershop that worked to keep black men healthy, but much of the program was depressing for me.
I could go into more detail about what I didn’t like, but I honestly don’t feel like beating a dead and decapitated horse today. I’m going to let you all have at it. What was your response to the second installment?