A couple of weeks ago the phenomenal Black Girls Rock celebration aired on BET, the same night as the 6th season premier of The Real Housewives of Atlanta.  In case you aren’t familiar with Black Girls Rock, it is founder Beverly Bonds’ televised showcase of amazing Black women and girls who are making a difference through politics, the arts, community service and sports.

I’m a huge fan of the non-profit organization that fosters Beverly’s dream of empowering and mentoring young women of color.  It also concentrates of how women of color are portrayed in the media.

In some ways, Black Girls Rock could be considered the antithesis of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.  But that might be a little too easy.  After all, the reality show has changed the lives of the women it chronicles and given them each a platform for their businesses and talent (some that’s easier to identify than others).  Love them or hate them, they all have achieved a certain level of fame and financial success by appearing on the highest rated and most profitable reality shows in the “Housewives” franchise.

Black Girls Rock is offering girls and young woman a platform as well, but more importantly it’s trying to catch them before they are stuck with the kinds of baggage and labels that has weighed down many of the women on RHOA.  Some of them have had to confront a spotty past that as caught up with them and some are still running away from one.   Either way, these women are now being defined in a way they have little power in changing.

Black Girls Rock’s platform is asking girls and young women to write their own stories, and it honors grown up women who have done it as well.  Their stories aren’t perfect but that isn’t the point.  They are using their gifts, talents and skills to give back because they understand what those coming behind have to face.  They can’t remove the obstacles that might be in the way, but they can make the road a little smoother and help guide the paths.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta have done their fair share of giving back in one way or another.  But for the most part by appearing in the reality show they’ve given up their power to tell their own stories. Writers, producers, directors and especially editors control the images we see each week and I have to believe that if the women had more control we’d see a much different picture.   Even the biggest RHOA fans are getting tired of the show and say the original veterans of the series, NeNe, Phaedra and Cynthia are boring.  I’m not sure if it’s because they’ve run out of drama or if the women have gotten smarter and less inclined to clown in front of the cameras.

I sort of wish the entire cast were part of Black Girls Rock to remind us that we really aren’t that different from each other.  That everybody deserves a chance to sing a new song and write a new story they can be proud of.


4 thoughts on “Do the Real Housewives from Atlanta Still Rock?

  1. 55th st silverbacks on said:

    I have just read an article that best expresses my point , please take time to read the story of schanna speight. if i have any power to speak to the masses it would be here and i would like to nominate a real black girl that rocks. with the power of our creator she has made great strides.

  2. None of the housewives or reality tv shows were ever good, and I am happy to see that people are waking up. Their are many black women in history (Harriet Tubman, Barbara Jordan) as well as the present( Dr. Frances Welsing, Ava Muhammad) that deserve to be celebrated and emulated. However television takes some of our worst behavior and displays it to the world purposely and labels them strong black women. The real strong black women were the ones who helped and are helping effect social change, not the ones bragging about how much money they wasted at the Gucci store.

    • 55th st silverbacks on said:

      amen , the real women that rock are with us everyday, at work and in our lives as they hold us together. i dont want to imagine where we would be without our sisters holding us UP even with our disfunction. but there is a dark cloud looming as i see young ladies portraying the images they see and because they are young, they model there reality after it . OUR ISSUES WILL NEVER BE UNDERSTOOD OR ADDRESED BY OTHERS , WE CANNOT EXPECT THE HAND THAT KNOCKED US OFF OUR SQUARE TO GIVE US A HAND UP , AND WOULD U REALLY WANT THAT?

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