Diddy, Magic Johnson; Why We Should Support Black TV Networks
With all of the recent talk about Diddy and Magic Johnson inking deals with Comcast to run their own networks, Revolt and Aspire, respectively, it’s only fitting to mention that there’s a partnership developing right in our own backyards.
The partnership — National Black Television — will focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the institutions that have produced celebrities and culture makers like Sean “Diddy” Combs, actress Taraji Henson and Lance Gross, all of whom attended Howard University; American Idol’s Randy Jackson (Southern University); comedian Wanda Sykes (Hampton University) and Mathew Knowles (Fisk University) who are privileged to be counted in the number with a civil rights great, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Morehouse College).
Stanley Everage Jr., founder and CEO of National Black TV, shares his vision for NBTV1.com, “National Black TV’s NBTV1.com is a 24-hour online TV network that competes with such sites as Hulu and Netflix. We’re focused on our African American and minority communities, giving them a platform they may not have elsewhere. We support our HBCUs. Our programming provides original content and focuses on the students’ lifestyle, HBCU events, including sports, and relevant current events and world news. The goal of NBTV is to highlight and enhance HBCUs across America.”
“Our HBCUs are critical to the future of America,” opens Dr. Carlton E. Brown, president of Clark Atlanta University, during an NBTV luncheon. “If you want to oppress a person or a people … if you want to prevent them from reaching their full development, there are two things that you have to do. You have to prevent them from knowing who they are and prevent them from knowing about the world that they live in. Those two quests sustained slavery for over 300 years. Those are the things that have prevented the continual rise of black people in America over the last 150 years. Lack of knowledge of self and lack of knowledge about the world, if you come to know those two things well, then you put yourself in the position to not only live strongly and well in the world but to know where have you been in this world and the ways that you have to impact this world.”
“We need to teach each other to be strong. When you go to a HBCU, you should go into the community and recruit kids to come to the university. Teach young ladies how to stand up. At Morris Brown and Spelman Colleges, you can’t go to school [dressed half] naked. They teach character, standards. A part of their vision is to keep us strong,” says Riverdale, Ga.’s Mayor Evelyn Winn-Dixon, an HBCU alumna who’s excited about Everage’s unprecedented venture to promote HBCUs.
“I don’t think I would have made it at Duke University if it wasn’t for North Carolina Central across the way. I would go there for cultural reinforcement,” says vice president of Legal Affairs for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Janice L. Mathis. “My mother was a graduate of A&T [North Carolina A&T University]. Our schools have stood by us and withstood the test of time and they deserve our support. I am glad to see this partnership between NBTV and the HBCUs.”
Combs with pop culture and music, Johnson with positive programming for black families and Everage with HBCU coverage are efforts to fill a void in cable and online TV that we should be proud to support.
“Remember NBTV’s slogan: ‘Why? Because we Care!’,” Everage closes. –yvette caslin