Cultural Critic and author Michael Eric Dyson talks Black Reality Television

Reel Urban News Excepts: “The problem with reality television is not that it’s reality television, the problem with reality television is that it’s so dominant.” Michael Eric Dyson

In addition to discussing his new book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, New York Times Best Selling Author and provocative thought leader Michael Eric Dyson talked about the influence and impact of black reality television programming.

“The problem with reality television is not that it’s reality television, the problem with reality television is that it’s so dominant. That becomes the major lens onto a landscape on African Americans and other minorities.”

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The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Black reality television programming.

A 2013 Nielsen report confirms blacks watch more television than any other group. Blacks watch 37 percent more television than other demographics. “So when you think about it that way, if the dominant white culture only had “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” or “The Real Housewives of Orange County” or Miley Cyrus, that would be damaging. There are so many more alternatives.”

In examining black media and the ability to tell our story amidst the vast backdrop of reality television, Dyson was forthright. “We have a responsibility to use what we have to open up minds to challenge stereotypes, to reshape presentations and to provide the best glimpse and lens on to the excellence that motivates us.

Author, Michael Eric Dyson discussing his new book "Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America" at All Saints Church, Pasadena, Ca. Reel Urban Images/Reggie Simon
Author, Michael Eric Dyson discussing his new book “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America” at All Saints Church, Pasadena, Ca. Reel Urban Images/Reggie Simon

“People should be able to have fun. I think every genre of entertainment television should excite.”

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Black viewing and television programming and platforms are limited but growing. BET, TV One, Aspire and Bounce are some of the television platforms that broadcast black programming. According to Dyson, minority people are squeezed and limited by narrow alternatives. “We don’t have a number of outlets to be able to express our beauty and power of diversity of who we are as a people.”

Author, Michael Eric Dyson discussing "Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America with Michael Reel, Reel Urban News. Reel Urban Images/Reggie Simon
Author, Michael Eric Dyson discussing “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America with Michael Reel, Reel Urban News. Reel Urban Images/Reggie Simon

Note: Michael Reel’s one on one with Michael Eric Dyson  will post to ReelUrbanNews.com.

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