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“Our Achilles Heel of Entertainment”

November 4, 2010

You know how the Achilles heel is a very coveted part of an athlete? If that is damaged, they can kiss their careers goodbye. It is so synonymous with un-recovery that we refer to it in our lives as habits or behaviors that keep us from growing or succeeding. It’s no secret what Blacks were initially brought to America to do. It was to increase profitability and serve the oppressors’ needs. Much of this servicing came by way of leisure and entertaining society. We were welcomed as comedians, singers, partygoers, and musicians well before we were noticed as intellectuals. This is a harsh truth that we often see as a taboo subject. We attempt to move on from the factual perils of our past, which I completely agree with, but we can’t party it out of our memory and attempting to get it out of our memory without knowing our history is reckless and irresponsible.

There are many behaviors that were forcibly embedded into us but marginalizing the value of knowledge is perhaps the most fatal. How can we expect progressive change in our community when every time we put on a positive community event, we expect artists, speakers, etc to participate for free; yet when we put on a concert or athletic event, we willing pay the participants? What message are we as community leaders sending about entertainment?

Entertainment is so engulfed into our culture that businesses continue to approach us from this vantage point; going as far as investing in making our times of leisure more smothering. Fast food chains use urban music to market a value meal to our children, while the Census Bureau, even in its serious nature, couple rap slang and uptempo beats to encourage Black participation in as important an activity as being counted. Let’s put this in perspective; others “work” (earn wealth), to persuade us to relax and “spend” our wealth.

The issue isn’t that we know how to relax and have fun. The issue isn’t only the frequency of this behavior. It is also how this behavior has given the impression that this is pretty much all what people (sometimes ourselves) see our contribution to mankind to be. Yes, Michael Jackson was the best-selling entertainer of all time but he also held the patent for Magnetic Gravity Defying shoes. This deposit of his intelligence will remain with us forever. Even with his intellectual contribution, he is still generally revered for his entertainment value.

As we relax, we must remember. As we go on to ignore, we must grow in intelligence. If we ever expect to gain the fair image that is out there for us we have to unplug from the frequency of our leisure, lethargy, and listlessness. Though businesses smile with us as they exploit our entertainment fetish, they are cashing in on their energy, sweat and equity by sacrificing their desire for entertainment. When will you? Think or sink!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 5, 2010 2:03 am

    Thank You Professor Devin for this post!
    I think if we entertain each other by joining hands and helping each other build though our energy, power and faith. We can help, build, and bring back our communities…

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