Media’s coverage of riots, both past and present, is always done in a biased light, portraying participants as “hoodlums” and “gangsters.” The 1968 Kerner report exposed the twisted and manipulated narrative the media created to represent African American and Black communities. Shows like the Black Journal allowed African Americans to reclaim their voice and bring light to their cause. Besides Tavis Smiley and Cornell West, prominent, African American journalists are scarce in media broadcasting. However, Shonda Rhimes, a Black producer, has created shows like How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal with strong Black female characters, and Lee Daniels created the popular show Empire with an almost all Black cast. I am very intrigued to see how these shows have contributed in positive and negative ways to the representation of the African American community and whether or not they can in some way replace shows like the Black Journal. Some say that these shows have only perpetuated stereotypes of the “Angry Black Woman” or of the “Black gangster,” while others believe that these shows offer a well rounded representation that allow Black youths to see themselves in the media. That being said, is it even possible to recreate a show like Black Journal today? And if so, what would that even look like?


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