Whenever I turn on my television now, I always tend to see drama and/or negativity that is created to degrade African Americans. At the age of 20, I am growing up in an era where social media and/or reality tv can make or break your career/life.
There have been several incidents in my life where I have personally seen how reality television and social media have affected my generation. Social Media and Reality television, in my opinion, are the two biggest threats to not only African Americans but young adults as well. For example, The Love and Hip-Hop Franchise, Basketball Wives, Bad Girls Club, and the Real Housewives of Atlanta are well-known reality tv shows that have not only affected the African American population, but it has also affected the way that people perceive African American women.
I personally remember being a pre-teen watching Bad Girls Club and I thought that their actions would soon become my new norm when I got older. The reason that I did not let their actions become my new norm is that I knew that I did not want to become known as a vixen or an industry woman. Growing up in the 21st century with social media and reality tv definitely has its' pros and cons.
As an African American who watches these shows, I personally know that everyone is not perfect, but where and when will society draw the line between reality and real life. As for Cardi B and K. Michelle, leaving the Love and Hip-Hop Franchise was a great decision for both of their careers. Before Cardi B had officially left Love and Hip-Hop: New York, she had already established her brand on social media, but when she was officially through with Love and Hip-Hop: New York, social media helped her brand and her music to excel.
During the 1830s, Minstrel shows were extremely popular, but they were created based on the comic enactment of racial stereotypes (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019). Minstrel shows were personally created by White Americans to embarrass African Americans. The bigger question is, "If our ancestors went through many vigorous and dangerous years of slavery, why would we get on national television and purposely embarrass ourselves?". What adds fuel to the fire, is that an African American woman by the name Mona Scott-Young would do whatever it takes to become successful even if it means that she would have to devalue African Americans as a whole. I personally may never meet Mona Scott-Young, but if I did I would first start off by saying, "Is all of this really worth it?" or "What would you say if your son or daughter was on national television fighting over nonsense?". I may never know why Mona Scott-Young does what she does, or I may not even know why some African Americans purposely act ignorant on social media, but I must say that when will it stop.
What may be considered cool on reality television, is not actually cool in real life once you are being put in handcuffs for domestic violence or worse. I will never know what the future holds for African Americans and our culture, but I do know that we must continue to move forward.
As a community, we can continue to push one another by reminding each other to accomplish one's' goal, and by speaking positivity/light into one another. We are ALL destined for greatness. Rosa Parks once said, "You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right".
Written By: Nakiyah McCafferty
My name is Nakiyah McCafferty and I am from Birmingham, Alabama. I am currently a Sophomore at Alabama State University. I am majoring in Social Work where I aspire to become a Medical Social Worker.