Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Black GLBT Television

Can you imagine a TV station that is Black Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender focused?

Well I can and we all should! Wouldn't you like to see your own images on television daily? Images that really depict your truths? We can make it happen!

We have the white channels, Logo and Q Television. Why not one for us? Believe it or not there are people that look and act just like you and I that are blazing trails to get on and stay on television. Only a few have been seen however. Noah's Arc, Ski Trip and The Herndon Davis Reports are the only ones that I know about.

Of the 3 projects of work, one is a movie (Ski Trip), one a Series (Noah's Arc) and the last a Talk Show (The Herndon Davis Reports).

Here are a few facts about them:

- Ski Trip was shot in 2 weeks in 2004 and made history by being the First Black gay film ever on television. It came on MTV's Logo channel in July 2005. Ski Trip was written and directed by Maurice Jamal.

- Noah's Arc is a television series that was written by Patrick-Ian Polk. If you have been to any of the gay film festivals you heard about Noah's Arc and now hearing about it from your friends if you haven't seen it for yourself on Logo. So imagine all the work that it took for him to get it into the film festivals and then on to a television network. He also wrote and directed Punks. Punks has not been on television nor is it available on DVD. What a shame this was quality work. Here's an Interview with Patrick-Ian Polk.

- The Herndon Davis Reports is a Talk Show that is meant to inspire, motivate and cultivate the Black gay community. Herndon Davis is an Author, Lecturer and now Talk Show host. Herndon wrote the inspirational/spirituality book, Black Gay & Christian. This is an intelligent show that is extremely informative for our brothers and sisters in smaller communities that might not have opportunities and access to information as we do in the bigger cities. Also check out his blog on his website.

Things you don't know about these 3 pieces of work and should know:

1. Ski Trip was funded by people like you and me donating $100, $50 or even $5 to get it made for $10,000.00. His second film, Dirty Laundry, is a daring comedy about family drama, identity and coming out, starring Loretta Devine (Crash, Waiting to Exhale), Sommore (Queens of Comedy, Friday After Next, Def Comedy Jam) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (Moesha, Dreamgirls) This movie too needs financial help to get it made. Click here to donate.

2. There is a chance that Noah's Arc will NOT be back on for a 2nd season. Here's an online petition to sign in an attempt to bring it back. Send it to your friends as well. You can even email Logo & MTV directly if you want to go directly to the source. They have yet to make a decision on whether it will be back or not.

3. The Herndon Davis Reports premiered it's 2nds season on December 29, 2005. The 1st and 2nd seasons were primarily financed by Herndon himself. However, it is possible that this could be the shows last season if advertisers are not found. Contact Herndon Davis to find out how you can help get a keep this show on the air.

I know that there are more individuals that are talented in the Black gay community who have projects that they would also like to get on television. The thing that we don't know most of the time is that it takes money.

Granted, there may be some of us that don't even like the projects that I mentioned above. However, this reminds me of the same types of conversations that occurred about black people in movies and television shows of past years. The characters they played were either, maids, pimps, prostitutes, poor, criminals, sambos, uncle toms or some type of embarrassment to our community. If it weren't for those individuals' desire to become the actors and actresses that they were, playing any type of roll they could get, I would venture to say it's possible that we might not have some of the the Icons we have today. Icons such as: BET, Hattie McDaniel, Dorothy Daniels, Sidney Portier, Sammy Davis Jr., Halle Berry, Denzell Washington, Lawrence Fishburn, Angela Bassett, etc.

The Black GLBT Community has a different charge today than the entire Black Community had of past years. The charge today is to get the voice of our community heard. Let's collectively work on getting the 3 projects mentioned above, solildified in our history and future. Once these projects are successful and profitable they'll be the leaders to the future we design. That future is our own Black Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender focused television station.

On Sense of Purpose
If you haven't dreamed that you will get there, you will not think about ever taking the steps to be there. - Max Robinson

On Self-Determination
We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it. - James Baldwin

With cooperative economics and persistence our voices can be heard loudly and clearly.


Terrence said...

How unfortunate about Noah's Arc. What's to decide? Begging white folks, again. It's a good entertaining show. It would be sad to see it not return.

Any chance BET, TV One, or Black Family Channel to pick it up?


Anonymous said...

I like Q Television. Q has a television series called "The Closet" which features many gay African-Americans. Great series. Great channel. Give it a look!

rance said...

I like the idea, but I'm not sure an exclusively black gay network is sustainable. Besides LOGO, I think the other gay networks are struggling, (Here, Q, etc). A better sell and chance for success in my opinion would be a more progressive and higher quality BET type channel where the programming is inclusive of a heavy dose of gay programming along with other programming that appeals mainly to 20 & 30 something urban professional black men & women. That could include black indie films (feature-length and short), R&B/soul/jazz music shows (versus hip-hop heavy shows), news, original sitcoms and serials along with syndicated series, etc. Gay/straight/men/women would all be targeted. It would show productions like “DL Chronicles” and “Punks” alongside things like “Girlfriends” and “love jones”. Maybe add a dash of Latino and Asian gay and straight fare to augment the audience.

p.s. I thought Noah’s Arc had been picked up based on what I’ve read on the Internet. I also recall seeing a commercial on LOGO that featured their programming for 2006 and included was a clip for NA with the caption “Noah’s Arc: Second Season.”