All these people and many more have made money off one thing: Bashing the Black man.
Since the 1980s bashing the Black man has become a very lucrative business for some in the Black community. Over the past three decades I’d have to say it’s become its own industry.
A Black author can write a book about a trifling Black man and have a best-seller with over a million copies.
A Black film-maker can make a film featuring Black men as trifiling, lazy, and incompetent and it’s a box-office hit grossing $50 to $60 million dollars.
Write a stage play about a Black woman who has been done wrong by a trifling no good Black man and It’ll play to a full house throughout the Chitlin’ circuit and even off-Broadway in New York and in Los Angeles and abroad.
And these types of Black Man stomping products win most of the international acclaim and all the big awards. Alice Walker writes The Color Purple dogging Black men and wins a National Book Award.
Terry McMillian gained a nationwide audience for Waiting to Exhale, the story about four single, successful Black women who just couldn’t find a good man, because all the Black men out there were no good.
McMillian’s success with Waiting to Exhale spawned a dozen clones throughout the 90’s and the early 2000s. Sheneska Jackson, Trisha R. Thomas, Omar Tyree, and dozens of others all had best-sellers following McMillian’s successful formula. All these stories featured a single successful, well-educated Black heroine who just couldn’t find a good man and had to deal with so many triflin’ no good Black Men before they found their prince if they ever did by the last page of the story.
Later in her career, McMillan had success with another Black man-stomping novel, the follow up to Waiting to Exhale, Getting to Happy. Even though the book was critically panned, it still managed to be a best-seller and pull an NAACP Image award for literature.
Lee Daniels dogs out brothers First in Monster’s Ball where Lawrence Musgrove is shown as a prisoner on death row, an irresponsible brotha who leaves behind a family, and then again with Precious based on the Black man-hating novel PUSH by Sapphire and wins an NAACP Image award for best picture and gets nominated for an Oscar for Best Director.
Geoffrey Fletcher won an Oscar for his screenplay for Precious Based on the Black Man-hating novel PUSH by Sapphire.
Tyler Perry has won numerous NAACP image awards for his films like For Colored Girls. And I Can do Bad All By Myself. Most of his films feature Black men abusing, brutalizing, raping and humiliating Black women before they are saved by a light-skinned Black or Latino male.
Oprah Winfrey received multiple Daytime Emmys and has built a billion-dollar empire over the past 25 years bashing brothers like a demolition derby.
Daytime Talk shows built their entire business on bashing brothers. Throughout the 90’s Ricki Lake, Jenny Jones, Rolonda Watts, Sally Jesse Raphael and a dozen other talk shows had huge ratings featuring no good trifiln’ cheatin’ Black men doing their Black woman wrong as the topics for their shows.
Recently Maury Povich and Jerry Springer have turned talk shows into ratings gold with shows about lying cheating, no good Black men, and DNA Drama where sistas try to find out who the baby daddy is.
Most of the court shows on TV like Judge Joe Brown, Judge Mathis, The People’s Court, Divorce Court, and Judge Judy feature Black men being depicted as trifling, stupid, lazy and no good. Audiences love watching these judges give these no job scrub brothas an emasculating reaming while they pass cash judgments to the poor, victimized Black woman to avenge the wrong done to them.
Steve Harvey has sold over a million copies of Act like a Lady, Think like a Man to audiences of Black women. It’s going to soon be a major motion picture.
One subject has turned into a multimillion dollar industry and made several dozen people very wealthy: Bashing the Black Man and focusing on the negative stereotypes revolving around him.
Yes, the Black man. America’s perpetual villain on the 6 o’clock news. The Black community’s scapegoat. The reason for all the Black Woman’s problems. America’s BUCK. America’s COON. The laughingstock of the world.
He’s trifling, no good, a cheater, a dog, a liar, a criminal. When he’s not in jail, on the corner or smoking weed He leaves litters of kids around he doesn’t care for. He never has a job, and when he has one he never goes to work it. He beats the kids. Eats all the food and uses up all the toilet paper and the hot water in the house. And his butt still stinks because Niggas ain't shit.
And the educated ones with the good jobs are just as trifling. They’re stuck up and conceited and think they’re better than everyone else. They just want White women. Or Asian Women. Or Latinas. Or their own daughters. And some of them want their sons.
Well, that’s what all those books, movies TV, stage plays and talk shows will have you believe. Anything to make a buck off the millions of gullible Black woman who identify with and relate to this one-sided nonsense.
And the sad part is almost all of this crap is made with no testament to quality. Most of the poorly written books, stage plays, TV shows, and movies made by these Black Man-bashing hustlers are often put together on the cheap and rushed out to take advantage of the ravenous audience of gullible Black women so starved for a positive image of themselves in the media they’ll take anything thrown at them. As these hucksters make off with their hard earned cash, sistas are medicated by cathartic snake-oil in the form of entertainment. While this media makes them feel better and validates their issues, none of it provides a definitive solution that corrects their longstanding problems like it promises to.
What I find strange is that none of these people writing these books or making these movies or media will give a Black man a job, but this group of brothas and sistas love exploiting his status as a scapegoat to enrich themselves.
What’s even stranger is that for all the bashing of the Black man in the media, he’s never given an opportunity to discuss HIS point of view. He’s never given a chance to defend his reputation in this woman-centered media. The only Black males are allowed to speak in this media, are usually the emasculated brothers who take sides with the poor victimized Black woman. And they’re usually the ones who use that forum to push a book, stage play, or movie on the Black female audience.
Y’know I’d like to hear from the other side for once. Those “no good trifling brothers.” I want their side of the story. I think it’d make for a more balanced picture of Black life. I’d love to hear the stories about how Black women picked guys, for superficial reasons like their looks, how much money they had in their pockets and what kind of car they drove. How they tried to KEEP brothas who were on their way out of the relationship by getting pregnant. How they got involved with violent men even though family and friends WARNED them about these dudes, and how they saw this toxic anger up close and personal. How they got involved with men with criminal histories. How they were so desperate and lonely they got involved with a married man even though he TOLD her he was married. How they were so desperate they put a known pedophile around their children so they could have a man. How they willfully and intentionally dated and married homosexuals because they thought it was trendy and hip. How their insecurities, emotional baggage and trust issues caused their relationships to fail. And ultimately, how Black women were partially responsible for the situations they got themselves into.
But that wouldn’t bring ratings on TV. Or a huge payday for some playwright, filmmaker or writer. No, that stuff doesn’t sell. I know from experience with The Cassandra Cookbook. Black audiences love material that allows them to blame the other side, not take responsibility for their actions.
As a writer I could join in on this lucrative market, and cash in on sistas pain, but I choose not to. I feel writing this kind of material only adds to the problems in the Black community and doesn’t focus on developing a lasting solution. I don’t want to continue deepening the rift between Black men and Black women, I want to close it. I feel that working towards healing this four decade long enmity between the sexes would be much more valuable to the long-term health of the Black community than the little money I’d make from selling books or the box-office I’d reap from some movie or a stage play.
As a Black man, I know that brothas aren’t the evil monsters depicted in Black media. Personally, I feel it’s unethical for Black people to profit off racist stereotypes that were established by White racists in Jim Crow. And I feel it’s reprehensible to take advantage of our sistas by exploiting their insecurities for a few dollars.
I myself have been misjudged throughout my life as these stereotypes have been projected on me in school, on the job and on the street. And I’m a clean cut, intelligent college educated brotha, supposed to be one of the “good ones”. But those poisoned by racism or with emotional baggage from past experiences superimpose the image of whatever Black man they had a bad experience with or whatever alleged Black Male criminal they saw on the 6 o’clock news. They bash every Black man based on the color of their experiences, not the content of his character.
I feel all this Black Man-bashing barely skims the surface of more complex issues in the Black community. The root causes of this enmity between the Black man and the Black woman over the past 40 years hasn’t even been examined or explored. And they never will be as long as a handful of Negroes continue to exploit their brothers and sisters pain for a fast dollar.