Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Teaser for 'Jurassic World' (4th Movie in Mega Franchise) Surfaces Teaser for 'Jurassic World' (4th Movie in Mega Franchise) Surfaces Watch Trailer For Controversial Artist Kara Walker’s Film ‘An Audience’ Watch Trailer For Controversial Artist Kara Walker’s Film ‘An Audience’ Watch Trailer for 'Storms of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed Part 2' (A Fan-Made Film) Watch Trailer for 'Storms of Carnage: The Black Panther Unleashed Part 2' (A Fan-Made Film) Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Rumorville - This Actor Just May Be in Contention to Play Apocalypse in 'X-Men: Apocalypse' Watch Uncomfortable Interview Bill Cosby Gave to AP on Rape Allegations Watch Uncomfortable Interview Bill Cosby Gave to AP on Rape Allegations  Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Toni Morrison Breaks Down Race as a Social Construct to Stephen Colbert Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne Will Celebrate August Wilson in PBS Special Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne Will Celebrate August Wilson in PBS Special Review: 'Seasons of Love' Might Be Yet Another Train Wreck of a Ratings Bonanza for Lifetime Review: 'Seasons of Love' Might Be Yet Another Train Wreck of a Ratings Bonanza for Lifetime Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Wow! BBC Announces That Idris Elba Will Return for a 2-Part 'Luther' Event Series in 2015 Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-Funded 'Da Sweet Blood of Jesus' Finds a Distributor, Gets Release Date, Poster, Synopsis Spike Lee’s Kickstarter-Funded 'Da Sweet Blood of Jesus' Finds a Distributor, Gets Release Date, Poster, Synopsis Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in Mira Nair's 'Queen of Katwe' Film Adaptation (On Ugandan Chess Prodigy Phiona Mutesi) Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Whoa! Steve McQueen & Harry Belafonte Are Teaming Up on a Paul Robeson Film. Will Be His Next Feature Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") Chris Rock on That Stubborn Burden of Representation Thing ("Black Fame" vs "White Fame") Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) Weekend B.O. Nov.14-16 (Why Didn’t 'Beyond the Lights' Light Up at the Box Office?) White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to White People Don't Get It Because They Never Had to Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

More On The Black British Versus Black American Experience...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 21, 2011 at 7:04AM

Maybe I'm only just now starting to pay attention to these matters... but, as an addendum to my post last week on the supposed talent drain, as black British actors migrate to the USA where better opportunities to work are believed to be in far more abundance, when compared to England... here's another article lamenting the state of the African in the UK - specifically, the lack of "an educated ethnic middle class... to counter the black 'street’ stereotype," which in turn affects the quality of content produced for black British audiences.
15

Maybe I'm only just now starting to pay attention to these matters... but, as an addendum to my post last week on the supposed talent drain, as black British actors migrate to the USA where better opportunities to work are believed to be in far more abundance, when compared to England... here's another article lamenting the state of the African in the UK - specifically, the lack of "an educated ethnic middle class... to counter the black 'street’ stereotype," which in turn affects the quality of content produced for black British audiences.

This one is from The Telegraph, and is written by Lindsay Johns, writer, broadcaster and self-proclaimed "hip-hop intellectual;" he's of African descent by the way (British/South African).

The article itself is quite damning! I'm not familiar with the man's work, but he pulls no punches here, and I'd really like to know what our UK-based readers have to say in reaction. Like the article I highlighted last week, this one also pits the African in the UK squarely with the African in the USA.

Here's a sample of the piece:


When it comes to film, Noel Clarke’s successful Kidulthood and Adulthood focused exclusively on the pathologies of the “You get me, blood?” ghetto underclass. Likewise, radio. When the new BBC radio station 1 Xtra was set up a few years ago, the thinly veiled rationale was to placate the black demographic with “urban” pirate radio-style “street” music. In short, give them what we think they want.

But hang on a minute. Where was the black Radio 4 equivalent? Don’t black people in this country want intelligent news, current affairs, drama and cultural programmes, too? Or are they only reserved for educated, middle-class white people?

On TV, black British protagonists – like Luther, the BBC detective played by Idris Elba – are a recent and rare phenomenon. How psychologically debilitating this must be for young black people, to be devoid of balanced, fair, let alone positive portrayals. Black America, with its educated, middle-class depth in numbers, is 30 years ahead of us. Think of The Cosby Show, a hugely successful middle-class family sitcom, whose patriarch was a black doctor. What do we get in the UK? The Crouches, whose father-figure worked on the London Underground.

So is middle-class black America the promised land for the educated black British? For all its many problems, America offers far more opportunities than Britain does right now. Hence the trans-Atlantic brain drain, which speeds up year after year: novelist Caryl Phillips and poet Fred D’Aguiar left for America years ago, as did actor Idris Elba. Playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah has just gone to be the artistic director at a theatre in Baltimore.

Over here, “black”, “working class” and “street” are still seen as synonymous terms.

You can read the entire article HERE.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm..., oped


Shadow & ActNewsletter