“In other words, the question, “What can we produce with our cultural capital?” is designed to motivate Black America to see that we are potentially on a road to decline and possibly extinction. If we can produce little else than entertainment services, and if the nation and world economy with which we transact reach a point of no demand for our entertainment services, then how can we justify and support our existence?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                            – B.B. Robinson

This excerpt is from an amazing article I read today. I was so inspired by  B.B Robinson’s theory that it prompted me to share this information with you, my readers. This article in a nutshell points out that the Black American culture would benefit from focusing less on sports and entertainment careers and more on finding a sustainable way to produce in society. He also implies that if the cultural capital of  Black America has the knowledge and capacity to only produce a certain good or service, then as new goods or services come about, Black America would have a difficult time trying to catch up as the world progresses; thus, leaving the culture feeling left behind.

If we look at the culture as a whole, we tend to idolize musicians that glorify meaningless sex, drugs/alcohol and crime, and athletes whose entire career could end with one injury; also, their physical abilities begin to decline after age 26. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to explore career options in the arts or sports, I do believe that we need to adjust the emphasis we put towards it.

With the world moving faster and faster into automation, science and technology, before we know it, the music industry may not be as lucrative of a career for the actual artist as it is today if we’re not savvy enough to keep up with technical demands. Sports on the other hand, in my opinion, is a timeless form of entertainment so I personally don’t see a decline in the industry; but with American football and basketball being the top two sports with the most injuries and knowing that Black Americans dominate both sports, that’s reason enough de-emphasize the industry.

Some might disagree and say that there are plenty of successful Black Americans contributing to society in ways outside of entertainment and that is correct! This article also does a great job in pointing out the many that have contributed in non-stereotypical ways like Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist, Dr Ben Carson, a famous surgeon and previous presidential candidate and Madam C.J Walker, an amazing entrepreneur who created and successfully launched her own hair care line just to name a few. But I think we can all agree that the majority have more interest in entertainment. Robinson pointed out that the accomplishments of those that have excelled in these career paths that are less traveled should serve as evidence that it is possible regardless of the cultural environment. Do you all agree that if we do not change the cultural environment, we will no longer be able to justify our existence?  

I encourage you all to read this article and let me know what you think!! Click here   <<<<<

2 COMMENTS

  1. Woah. Black cultural capital is used for far more than advancing the entertainment industry (and Black folks don’t even get proper recognition for that!) and they contributions are not even remotely at risk of extinction. If we are to critically analyze the work and societal contributions of Black Americans, than it’s important to frame it accurately first. Since the inception of this nation, Black culture has been stolen, exploited and appropriated by white people. Fact. Their intellectual and social capital provides invaluable benefit and profit across countless sectors, such as education, grassroots community organizations, medicine, entertainment, real estate, policy, law, and etc. Yet, there a seldom times when there is equitable pay or recognition for this—i.e. this article. Example- I was just discussing with a friend how school districts are scrambling to retain mistreated and under compensated Black teachers because schools know that the intellectual and cultural capital they bring is what grows kids. Black women are of the most highly educated U.S. citizens to date. Fact. And these skills are going to far more than entertainment. And even in entertainment, people are still advocating for basic equity—i.e. Diddy, Tyler the Great, and Joaquin Phoenix. Be careful not to perpetuate white supremacy ideals and further marginalize an entire race of people based on stereotypes, not research. Black Americans can not afford the set back.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here