Aug 27

The History of BET

Black Entertainment Television (BET), headquartered in Washington, D.C. and currently operates under the VIACOM umbrella.   With more than 90 million homes watching worldwide, it is the well-known station targeting African-American viewers.  It is also a leading provider of black American cultural and entertainment based programming, both of original creations, acquired properties and musical presentations.

After stepping down as a lobbyist for the cable industry, Freeport, Illinois native Robert L. Johnson decided to launch his own cable television network. Johnson would soon acquire a loan for $15,000, and earned a $500,000 investment from media executive John Malone to start the network.[3] The network, which was named Black Entertainment Television, launched on January 25, 1980.[4] Initially broadcasting for two hours a week as a block of programming on Nickelodeon (it would not be until 1983 that BET became a full-fledged channel), the network’s lineup consisted of music videos and reruns of popular black sitcoms.  (from Wikipedia)

BET has gained popularity with its’ vast black audience, but has faced a number of major African Americans critics such as syndicated columnist George Curry, cartoonist and television producer Aaron McGruder, movie director  and producer Spike Lee, and former Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins. These critics and others denounced BET’s programming, claiming it promoted sexism and anti-intellectualism.

They also argued that showing rap and hip hop-oriented programming along with comedy programs either intentionally or inadvertently promoted anti-black stereotypes. BET founder Richard Johnson and Viacom executives claimed they were providing the programming the market demanded. In 2008 a number of prominent black ministers (“Enough is Enough”) publicly protested BET programming choices outside the network’s headquarters.

Enough is Enough supported a 2008 report “The Rap on Rap” by the Parents Television Council that argued that BET’s rap programming, which they believed contained gratuitous sexual, violent and profane content, was targeting children and teens.

The controversy continued in 2010, when BET co-founder Sheila Johnson said she is “ashamed” of what the network has become. “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don’t watch it,” she said. “When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television. We had public affairs programming. We had news.

The criticism has not impacted the growth and acceptance of BET and the various shows and programs they have created.  In 2013, it is reported that 79.82% of households with television receive the BET network.  However, there is no information available as to what percentage of those households chose to get the network, or receive the network as part of a larger cable package.

According to the sales material, “BET provides contemporary entertainment that speaks to young Black adults from an authentic, unapologetic viewpoint of the Black experience. BET connects with its target audience in a way no other media outlet can providing hit music, entertainment and news programming that is reflective of their experiences.  Our outstanding mega-specials keep viewers regularly tuned in for the latest and greatest in Black entertainment.”

Apr 26

Countless numbers rally for Freddie Gray; protesters become rowdy – WNEM Saginaw

Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) – Thousands of protesters took to the streets Saturday in the largest Freddie Gray rally yet, after hours of peaceful demonstrations, wallets of protesters smashed out law enforcement car windows and storefronts.

Two people had been hurt in the mayhem and at minimum a dozen were arrested. The problems happened near Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles game against the Boston Reddish Sox went on as scheduled. Prior to the game, demonstrators fought with enthusiasts at a bar.

Gray died April 19 after suffering a fatal vertebral injury while in custody. Authorities have never explained how or when Gray’s spine was injured. Video showed him being dragged into a law enforcement van and police have stated he rode in the wagon for approximately 30 minutes before paramedics were called.

Law enforcement have said Gray should have received medical attention at the spot where he was arrested – before he was put inside a police transport van handcuffed and without a seat belt, the violation of the department’s policy.

There have been near-daily protests since Gray’s death. Upon Saturday, a small group threw containers and plastic bottles in the direction of police officers. A single protester broke out the windowpane of a police cruiser, grabbed the police hat inside and put on it while standing on top of the easy riding bike with several other protesters.

At that point, scores of official rushed into the area, stopped plus formed a line, three officers deep. The protesters scattered yet returned a few minutes later and started yelling “What do we want? Proper rights! When do we want it? Now! ”

From inside the stadium, fans watched the protesters gather.

Before the protest turned tense plus violent, demonstrators filled two city blocks and marched 2 kilometers to City Hall, where the audience overtook the grassy plaza nearby from the building.

Tanya Peacher, a 36-year-old Baltimore resident, said she’d certainly not attended a protest in the city before, but watching a video associated with Gray’s arrest motivated her.

“I looked at my son, ” she stated, “and thought ‘that is my son. ‘”

Residents young and old, from Baltimore and beyond, voiced their rage at how the department and the city’s officials are handling the investigation into Gray’s death. At 1 point, the crowd paused for a moment of silence in front of Shock Trauma, the hospital where Gray passed away. The marchers then migrated to Camden Yards.

At a downtown intersection, twelve marchers laid down in the street throughout an impromptu “die-in. ”

Wearing a sign around his neck that said “I am Freddie Gray, ” 33-year-old Dante Acree joined thousands of other people outside City Hall. Acree stated he came out to the protest since “it could have been one of my kids. ”

“It could have been my brother, my father, ” he or she said. “I’d want the same assistance. ”

Leonard Patterson, 56, said he or she drove from Manassas, Virginia, to be a part of the protest. Patterson said he or she decided to come after thinking about his college-aged daughter.

“I’m trying to do everything in my limbs, everything in my power, to make this a better world on her, ” said Patterson, holding up his black and white drawing of Freddie Gray. The drawing shows Gray becoming hoisted from a police van to heaven by two angels.

“I’m here to do what I can. Police brutality is as old as the 1950s, the 1960s. It’s still here, ” he said.

Copyright 2015 The Linked Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Apr 25

North Carolina A&T Holds ‘Terrence J Day’

Former BET host visits and gifts $100,000 to his alma mater.

Apr 25

Kendrick Lamar Reveals His Current Preferred Artist

Which Unusual Future member is K Dot’s inspiration?

Apr 24

Running a 5K: What You Need to Know

Do you have what it to takes to run 3.1 miles?

Apr 22

Dark men descend on the Capitol in order to push for big ‘yes’ election on Lynch – WZVN-TV

By Athena Jones

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Despite the fact that attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch may finally be getting a vote in coming days, a group of black men are pushing Republican senators Wednesday to help make the final count a decisive vast majority.

After requiring for weeks that a vote upon Lynch’s confirmation by the full United states senate had to wait until the chamber finishes consideration of an unrelated human trafficking bill, Senate Majority Leader McConnell finally scheduled a Thursday election on Lynch after a bipartisan offer was reached Tuesday to move forward on the trafficking legislation.

Lynch has the support of sufficient Republicans to win confirmation. Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Lindsey Graham associated with South Carolina and Susan Collins associated with Maine have all said they plan to vote for her, but the men gathering here at the Capitol said they would like to see more GOP members election for her.

Echoing an argument put forward by Lynch supporters like former New York Mayor and one-time presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani and former FBI Director Louis Freeh, the men said the Senate should confirm Lynch using a large majority to help ensure the girl a strong start in the post, to send a positive message to the American people and to show that Congress might get things done.

“There’s a practical message and a principled one and the practical message is if she gets in by one vote, we still have the right attorney general in office. If the girl gets by more it’s saying that a Senate that in some cases has been on the other side of the politics, recognizes this is a qualified representative and it states where this Congress is going, ” said Jeff Johnson, a former host of Black Entertainment Television and another of the leaders of the group. “If the girl gets by by more than one 2, three or four votes it says ‘Wait a minute, maybe there’s hope for this Senate. ‘”

The group of more than two dozen black males from around the country — which includes clergy, members of 100 Dark Men of America, members of the Alpha Phi Alpha and Omega Psi Phi fraternities and joined by Rep. Andre Carson (D-Indiana) — aimed to meet with GOP senators, or their staffers, from states with large black populations to push them to vote regarding Lynch, including Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, Tim Scott associated with South Carolina, Rob Portman of Ohio, Thad Cochran of Mississippi and Tom Cotton of Arkansas. In addition they planned to speak with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“Out of all the senators who have yet to decide how they’re going to vote, they have got the largest African-American constituency, ” mentioned Roland Martin, the host and managing editor of a daily morning show on TV One, who assisted organize the men, announced the group’s plans on television on Fri and has spread news about it upon Twitter using #BrothersforLorettaLynch. “Brothers who are constituents, we’re having them lead us into the office to talk with their particular [member.]”

The group first tried to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to urge him to vote “yes” upon Lynch, but instead spoke briefly in the hallway outside his leadership office with the Kentucky senator’s Deputy Key of Staff Don Stewart. They will did not have an appointment to meet along with McConnell. A smaller group of black ladies also tried to meet with the United states senate leader last week without an appointment and spoke instead with Stewart. Stewart told the men Wednesday that a vote on Lynch had been scheduled and the McConnell had not indicated publicly how he planned to election.

Lynch, would you become the first African-American woman in order to head the Department of Proper rights, was nominated in November and it has waited longer since her nomination cleared the Senate Judiciary Panel than any of the past seven candidates for the post combined. The days of delays have angered the girl supporters and prompted a series of push conferences and conference calls in addition to protests at the Capitol. After the group of black woman Lynch supporters made two trips to McConnell’s leadership office and prayed outside of it for Lynch’s confirmation, the group associated with black men thought it necessary to show their support.

“We brought men here from literally around the country to stand in support of Loretta Lynch, ” mentioned Rev. Jamal Bryant, pastor associated with Empowerment Temple AME in Baltimore, MD and one of two ministers to join the group. “This is the twentieth anniversary of the Million Man March and we really wanted to make a obvious statement that men are standing behind black women in this position and wanted to meet with the Republican commanders to urge them to vote for her tomorrow morning. ”

Martin said this would not be the last time black men would come collectively to lobby members of Our elected representatives on a variety of matters, including legal justice reform. The goal is to bring members of the group to the Capitol on a monthly basis to talk with members about issues of importance to them.

TM & © 2015 Wire News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Apr 21

Ten Reasons You’re So Tired

These bad habits could exacerbate exhaustion.

Apr 21

Encore! TV does it again with prepared ‘Full House’ revival – CT Post

NYC (AP) — As TV networks plunder the recycling bin just for old shows to revive, “Full House” must have been the final scrap at the end of the barrel.

Roughly it would seem to those gobsmacked by news that Netflix is resuscitating the 1987-95 ABC sitcom — which usually, even for fans, is tenderly recalled as ephemeral fluff — just for 13 new episodes revisiting the Tanners of San Francisco and re-titled ” Fuller House . ”

As the “Full House” theme song posed jauntily, “Whatever happened to predictability — the milkman, the paperboy, evening TV? ”

Nowadays, “evening TV” is gloriously unpredictable in many quarters (“Louie, ” ”Game of Thrones, ” ”Mad Men” and Netflix’s own “Orange Will be the New Black, ” to name a bare handful).

Yet at the same time, television programmers are heeding the echo chamber’s siren contact, breathing new life (or trying) into old TV concepts refashioned as new.

Two years ago, Netflix revived the offbeat comedy “Arrested Development, ” which usually Fox had canceled eight many years earlier.

CBS is within its fifth season of the updated “Hawaii Five-O, ” whose first CBS version left the air within 1980.

Last drop, TNT canceled “Dallas” after three seasons — and two decades following the original “Dallas” ended a 14-season run on CBS.

Let’s take a not forget “The Odd Couple, ” which premiered in February on CBS. Starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon as the mismatched flat-mates, it is in line with the 1968 film, which was based on the 1965 Broadway comedy, which inspired the long-running 1970 ABC sitcom (starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall ) as well as the 1982 ABC flop featuring an African-American odd couple (played by Demond Wilson and Ron Glass).

And now let’s look ahead:

— A reboot of the 1990-91 ABC thriller “Twin Peaks, ” set for 2016, has been announced last fall by Showtime with co-creators Jesse Lynch and Tag Frost back on board for a new round of eeriness. Earlier this particular month, Lynch said he has been exiting the project, but Showtime expressed hopes of salvaging the series with both principals participating.

— NBC is video game for a new round of the 1989-97 sitcom “Coach. ” The system has ordered 13 episodes associated with what it is pointedly calling a “sequel, ” not a revival or, o, rip-off of the ABC original, with Craig T. Nelson again starring as Hayden Fox , former head coach of a university football team and now assistant coach to his grown son, who’s the new head coach at an Ivy League school.

MTV 2 announced last week that it has ordered a pilot for the resurrection of “Celebrity Death Match, ” the ultimate-fighting spoof that pits animated effigies of stars against each other. The series originally aired on MTV from 1998 to 2002, after that returned to MTV2 in 2005 for two more seasons, with this kind of puppet face-offs as Ice Cube towards Ice-T and Hillary Rodham Clinton vs . Monica Lewinsky .

— And don’t forget “The X-Files, ” which will bring back real estate agents Mulder and Scully ( David Duchovny plus Gillian Anderson ) after a dozen years’ lack from the Fox airwaves for 6 new episodes set to air on Fox this summer. Will the truth still be out there?

It’s worth remembering that “The X-Files” was a rarity when it premiered in 1993. It explored the occult, the paranormal and extraterrestrial life, in addition to delving into the public’s fear of science and technology, of government plus themselves. It was a very long shot. But it caught on big plus ran nine seasons and spawned two feature films.

Of course , by now it’s an established portion of TV history and pop lifestyle, not to mention comfortably familiar. Whatever happened to predictability? No wonder it’s among the TV shows poised for a comeback.


EDITOR’S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press . He can be reached at fmoore@ap. org and at Past stories are available at

Apr 21

Out and About: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Arrive in NYC

Plus, Michael B. Jordan, Tracee Ellis Ross and more.

Apr 21

Health Rewind: 1,000 People Sent to Hospital Over Fake Weed

Plus, e-cigs use among teens have tripled.

Apr 20

BET Wire: Obama Calls Lynch Vote Delay “Embarrassing”

Even Republican Jeb Bush says “Just Do It!”

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