Saturday, April 12, 2008
Jigga What...Jigga Who?
A seemingly inconsequential popular culture event provides an opportunity to debate the state of media, the ongoing obfuscation of the relative importance of African American artists to mainstream popular culture, and the widely alarming recalcitrance to portray black people as anything other than pathological.
The marriage of two of the most lucrative popular culture icons in the country, race notwithstanding, is apparently not news. It's hard to imagine a figure more ubiquitous than Jay-Z to hip hop or Beyonce to pop, but I guess if Eminem married Britney that would be a big yawn too if they did so after six years (!) of anticipation and speculation.
I had to see pictures of Eva Longoria's wedding. Apparently she is more newsworthy than Beyonce and Jay-Z.
As someone who generally believes no one's wedding (even that of a celebrity) is 'news' but a private, family event, the mainstream media's claim that no one cared about this particular celebrity wedding news strains credulity to the point of exhaustion.
To be clearer... Two black people get married. According to the statistics we are usually bombarded with, that in and of itself should be worthy of an interruption of you usual programming. I distinctly recall reading and watching several features that suggested African American women were now more likely NOT to get married in their lifetime than not.
A black man gets married. According to the statistics we are usually bombarded with, if he's not dead or in jail or on the down-low or just trifling, the last thing a black man wants to do is get married. To a black woman.
A black woman becomes the wife of a black man who apparently wanted to become her husband. If we extrapolate from the kinds of media coverage we usually get of black people and popular culture, this is the equivalent of a Bigfoot sighting or a high-def shot of the Loch Ness Monster. Right?
The man who gave us Big Pimpin got married, people. And mainstream media thinks that is not news. Think about that...