15 Dec 2008

From Presidents To Pop Stars

Two things I PERSONALLY never thought I'd see…A black president and a black winner on X Factor. OK to some X Factor isn't all that deep and the accomplishments between president to pop star are not comparable [of course not], but both in my opinion are indeed sweet. I've always said a black person could never win a reality TV show [especially where a majority of the voters were white in this country]. I wasn't even looking at it from a point of view that Alex should win because she's black, she was one of the best in the competition and won rightfully so, after being booted three years ago she came back and won her place.

The UK and US are similar in some instances with how some are viewed as people of colour in their respective countries. After Obama, people are saying well there's hope for a black Prime Minister in the UK. A lot of black people here realistically DO NOT think so. It's a different kind of being black in the UK than it is in the US and the racism in the UK and Europe are on a different level. I mean over there I'm still in awe that in magazines black women are in Tampax, Dove and Tide adverts and that black people actually feature in TV commercials. **GASP** So I am very surprised that a chocolate beauty like Alexandra won the show considering black women in the British music industry practically do not exist and the closest thing favoured is your mixed race Leona types. Estelle is the only one I can think of doing something in the industry right now and mainstream. Beverly Knight and Jamelia were dropped from their labels, and they seem to favour the ones who can pass like mixed race beauties Alesha Dixon and Leona Lewis more euro looking and more marketable.

All I hope and pray for is that Simon Cowell invests as much time and attention as he did with his Mariahesque Brit clone Leona by carting her off to the US to work with Neyo and get her on Oprah as he will with Alexandra. Alexandra is just as good if not just a tad bit better than Leona and deserves just as much time and attention from his camp. The build-up with Leona was insane. I hope Alexandra doesn't become like her fellow and yes I'll say it darker cohorts Beverly and Jamelia who were dropped because the crossover into mainstream wasn't fluid enough. I hope it doesn't become a situation where she'll have to venture solely on the black music scene just to make it. It shouldn't have to be that way especially if you have the talent. Don't get me wrong I'll class Leona as a sista, she may look fairer than say Halle and Alicia Keys whom we have no trouble labelling and accepting as black, who has the same white mother/black father that Leona has so it's no different to me.

I'm not saying in 2008 victories by Usian Bolt, Lewis Hamilton, President Elect Barack Obama and Alexandra Burke that the world is going to change, and that we are going to be welcomed with open arms. I for one don't want that I just want more tolerance and less discrimination. It's just nice that across the board we're branching out and being recognised and appreciated as a people from the islands to the US to the UK that as much as it's a huge boost for black people and people can see a more positive side instead of the typical negative images surrounding blacks. Of course there is a very long way to go and realistically I don't think things will change much. I don't care that we've got another pop star to add to the current list of black vocalists [and I mean that in the sense that it's not a case of 'oh lord another black singer. Is that all we can so sports and sing?'], I think all achievements should be welcomed and praised. I feel it's much better to have another one of us at the top of the charts that at the top of nearly every negative statistic known to man.

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