Black-Owned Media VS Black-Targeted Media

People often think that Black-owned media would be more relatable and realistic, but the truth is not all Black-owned media is completely Black-owned. BET is a great example of this by definition “Black Entertainment Television” would be Black-owned but ironically it is not. It is also ironic that the alternate Black-targeted media can often be more relatable for Black people although it is not owned by Black people, but made to target us as their audiences for their shows,movies or media outlets.

Black-owned media has a tendency to be less stereotypical towards Black people, while Black-targeted media often uses stereotypes to make it more “entertaining”.

There are Black-targeted shows that are not full of stereotypes such as television shows like Girlfriends. The show followed a group of women of color as they face different struggles in life that are not necessarily connected to them being of color. On the other hand, there are other television shows that are targeted at Black people who are full of negative connotations and stereotypes. It is really a coin toss with media targeted for Black people because you never know how they will portray us in said media.

Television shows like A Different World and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air both had mostly Black producers, so the shows portrayed Black people in a more positive light with real moral lessons in the episodes. These shows did not enforce stereotypes to make the show more “entertaining”.

Black media needs to bring back positive shows with real moral lessons.

We need more wholesome Black family sitcoms for our generation because the only popular sitcom we really have like that now is Blackish. There were more Black sitcoms including Roc, The Hughleys, The Bernie Mac Show, and The Cosby Show which all promoted good moral lessons and showed a Black family that was not necessarily struggling to make ends meet every month or dealing with the problems that come with living in the ghetto every episode.

These shows all had mostly Black producers, with the exception of The Cosby Show, which makes them fit better under the Black-owned media category than the Black-targeted media one.

It can be argued that Black-owned media does have a more positive impact on the people who are watching them. By no means am I saying that showing a family of color struggling and dealing with living in the ghetto is a negative thing. But, if that is all that is shown then the general public may believe that all people of color come from the ghetto and are consequently struggling and/or poor.

The problem with this negative representation is that it usually goes hand in hand with the stereotypes associated with being Black. Most of these reality television shows are less than positive, so they can negatively influence the general public’s perception of Black people even if that was not the intentions of the show’s producers. There is reality television shows that are Black-targeted, but there are also Black-owned reality television shows that portray people of color in a negative light. The same thing goes for movies who don’t cast POC as the heroes but always cast us for the negative roles such as the criminals. While this has gotten better over time, it has not been completely eradicated in media.

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between Black-owned media and Black-targeted media.  

Not all Black-owned media is positive and not all Black-targeted media is negative. But, if both types of media took the steps show positive representations of black people then that could help the alleviate stereotypes that the general public often have.

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Kelisha Trice

Kelisha Trice is a student at North Carolina A&T State University majoring in English with a concentration in African American Literature.

Kelisha Trice

Kelisha Trice is a student at North Carolina A&T State University majoring in English with a concentration in African American Literature.