Tag Archives: Black Men in the Age of Obama

Black Men in the Age of President Obama: 4 Things CNN Got Wrong

By Guest Contributor jbrotherlove, originally published at jbrotherlove

In case you missed it, CNN aired Black Men in the Age of President Obama this weekend. The special was hosted by Don Lemon who I’ve applauded in the past for his insightful coverage and inclusion of social media in his journalism.

Black Men showed how the interest in education and public service has grown in the black community, seemingly as a result of Barack Obama, despite broken homes and a downtrodden economy. Also, noted was the positive effect our society has received from viewing an intact, loving black family on an international stage.

But there were some negatives.

1. “Down Low” Men & HIV

Again, black men on “the down low” were blamed for the high HIV rates among black women. I had a fear the conversation would go that route despite evidence of the contrary. CDC Director Dr. Kevin Fenton recently stated HIV infection in black women “is being fueled by heterosexual Black men with multiple sex partners”.

But that’s a fact the black church and others who typically demonize black gay men don’t want to accept. It means the “blame game” should be re-focused on conversations about responsibility, self-esteem, acceptance and empowerment. Don Lemon missed a crucial opportunity of framing this conversation in a different manner.

2. No (out) black men

There wasn’t any gay representation on the panel.* This was ironic because the panel was held in Atlanta (which has a large, black gay population) at Morehouse College, of all places. The concentration of gay students at Morehouse is well-known and is partially why the the historic, black college created a new, controversial dress code.

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