Black women in media, an ugly race to the finish?

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    Can’t we all just get along?

    Apparently (not!), according to the media world. 

    Last night’s VH1 premiere of the new reality show “Gossip Game” takes an upclose and personal look at the world of entertainment journalism. If you’re expecting that Producer Mona Scott Young’s latest project won’t be as juicy as it’s predecessors, you might be in for a shock.

    Offering a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of NY urban culture’s hottest radio personalities, columnists and bloggers, the new series paints an interesting picture of celebrity chit-chat. But, what more critical narrative does it share with the audience?

    “Gossip Game” makes quite a charged statement about black women, and their relationships with others in the media industry. Judging what we’re used to, can we really be surprised? Rarely do viewers find an example in the mainstream that doesn’t follow this trend. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, chances are you’ve noticed it’s a reoccurring theme of most television shows black women are featured in. Reality TV has become the quickest go-to option for making unknowns into household names. Yet, the stories most frequently told are ones that leave a troubling imprint on the minds of viewers, and what they think about particular groups.

    The new VH1 series puts a stamp on a classic struggle. When it comes to black women in media, it’s a seemingly ugly race to the finish, and one that leaves only a few still standing.

    Are relationships among women of color, whether in private or public settings, as troubled as television might have us believe? There’s an old saying that “seeing is believing”, yet is that always the case?

    It’s a two-sided tale that’s entirely subject to experience. A widely accepted notion exists that black females hardly ever want to see each other win. Some say it’s because one person’s gain is merely seen as the other’s loss. A sad story, but one that many buy into.

    There’s the controversial theory of “crabs in a barrel” where opportunities for minority women are so limited, they’re left fighting over crumbs in hungry desperation. While the angst might be overtly exaggerated, it has emerged as a real problem, on and off the screen.

    We must beware of the signs that tell us mud-slinging is a requirement for success. Is it necessary? If you want to know more, just ask television’s undisputed queen of media, Oprah Winfrey. She’s managed to navigate treacherous waters, while remaining carefully committed to a “kosher” appeal in her quest for the crown.

    But, not everyone gets to be the Big “O”. With that said, individuals employ various strategies to try and get what they want. The rule applies to all industries, and not just media. It crosses all barriers, and doesn’t just relate to black women. For some reason, however we manage to frequently take on the starring role.  

    Whatever the case, we are entitled to our own opinions and subsequent actions. How we respond to this age-old dilemma that still affect the state of black womanhood even in 2013 is purely a choice. As our world continuously changes to reflect the times, we as black women yet-and-still face a challenge as old as dirt. Let’s just make sure we don’t get soiled in the process.

    Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @MissBritneySp

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