Snoop Dogg, I’m Not Boycotting Roots

Snoop Dogg is encouraging Black People to ban the new movie remake of Roots. Being very vocal his objections, Snoop said“… [F] that old [ish] …” This response is not shocking or surprising to me. This is a typical reaction some black people have when they see a “slave movie.”

Let’s face it, watching black people being beat and humiliated by White slave owners is very painful. These period pieces can easily make Black people angry and frustrated, since there is nothing we can do to right those wrongs. Thus, many of us go the route of dismissing and devaluing the past which is a reason why African Americans know very little about their own family history and genealogy.

Umm, The Irony

I find it ironic that Snoop Dogg would go so far as to call for Black people to boycott the new Roots movie. I see how hip hop culture venerates movies likes Scarface, The Godfather, and The Sopranos which has Italian mobsters who don’t like Blacks. Yet, for Roots which deals with the historic tragedy and triumphs of a Black family, Snoop thinks it’s BS. I would think that he could relate to a movie that is “keeping it real” especially since the content of his music was called into question in the early 90′s. Not long after Snoop started his music career, C. Delores Tucker, numerous politicians, and community activists called for the boycott and ban of gangsta rap. In one testimony about gangsta rap, Tucker said, “Enough is enough…I am here to put the nation on notice that violence perpetuated against women through the music industry in the forms of gangsta rap and misogynistic lyrics will not be tolerated any longer. Principle must come before profit.”

While I definitely do not like the a lot of the subject matter contained in gangsta rap and hardcore rap, I disagree with those who want to ban it. We have the freedom to choose what we want to hear and see, in fact Snoop Dogg has endorsed this freedom in the past. In a 1994 interview, he told Arsenio Hall, “Right now, I’m just trying to rap…If you don’t like it, don’t listen to it, but if you like it go on and get it.” Interestingly, Arsenio asked Snoop what he thought of the politicians who blamed [social] conditions on art. Snoop responded, “Crime has been going on before art been going on. Before anybody picked up the microphone and said they gonna make a rap, people was getting killed..they making it like we the problem, we trying to solve the problem by bringing these problems to your face. So you can understand and see exactly what we go through.” Isn’t Roots taking the same approach by showing the inhumanity of slavery and the success of a family who overcame this oppression?

Inspiration to do Better

When I reflect upon the accomplishments of my ancestors, I am inspired by how much they achieved despite the enormous challenges working against them. This is why I like looking at historical movies like Roots, because it serves as a reminder not to be complacent. These types of movies often light a fire under me to keep pressing on to gain more and more ground. So, Snoop, for me #OldStuffMatters.

Related Videos

** Warning, Profanity **

Stacey Dash, Do You Want To Censor American Culture and Business?

Ms. Dash, in response to your recent comments on Fox News where you recommend getting rid of Black TV channels like BET, I say this. A business has the right to curate content, music, media, and food for a specific audience of our society. Restaurants do this all the time giving us a wide variety of choices: Italian, Chinese, Southern Soul, Jamaican, Indian, and more. Is it racist for these businesses to only make one style of cuisine? Absolutely not, unless they were denying someone entrance because of their race, nationality, gender, or religion. [Read more...]

Steve Harvey and His Smart Phone

While browsing Facebook, I saw a clip of the “Ask Steve” segment of the Steve Harvey Show. After watching several clips, I came upon the following video where an audience member asked Harvey if there was a technology he couldn’t live without. Harvey talked about how much he used his smartphone. Then he began talking about intrusion with the camera on these devices. He mentioned even when you tell people know, they still take the picture. I can attest to this, most times people will take pictures on various occasions and post those pictures without asking if it’s okay. To many, I believe they feel the mere act of taking the picture gives permission to post on social media, but we must be mindful of our friends and family’s privacy.

The Digital Youth Network

Dr. Nichole Pinkard of DePaul University is doing some really good work with youth and digital literacy. She is the founder of the Digital Youth Network (DYN) which is tailored for urban students in Chicago. The program has in school initiatives, physical space for after school activities, and a social network called iRemix. Another cool tool that the program has developed is called Curateit, which allow youth to collect a gallery of digital media in a safe environment.

Use Online Trends in Journalism to Make Your Content Sociable and Shareable.

After writing my first article on Storify, I came across a related article , I found this great YouTube video by Sarah Marshall. Her presentation, “Around the World in Online Innovation.” She basically gives a lesson on how to make your content shareable and provides good examples for study. If you haven’t notice the changes in journalism websites since the invention of Web 2.0 and social media, then roll up your sleeves and prepare to be schooled. If we want to generate more traffic and buzz about our articles we can’t rely on the traditional “build it and they will come” approach web content development. In this video Sarah Marshall describes the latest trends in online journalism. The main takeaway is realizing that the main gateway to your website is no longer your homepage but your articles that are shared on social media. Thus the popularity of your website relies on the individual strength of each article. The bulk of your content should be short and concise, listy, and most importantly, shareable.