Just My Imagination
Temptations sing: "Just my imagination runnin' away with me..."
As a creative individual who has sought to have his imagination on display in various media over the years, print, broadcast, film I often wonder what must it be like to have that work product actually accepted, taken at face value without comparison to some supposed universal "white" aesthetic.
I'm not trying to write or sound like anyone other than who I am, a black man who was born in the middle of the 20th century, looking through "a glass darkly" at the world around me. The lens at which the marketplace opens is such a narrow and "colored" space that one can't breathe without choking on the duplicity and dis-ingenuousness.
So one becomes an "independent" finding ways by hook or by crook to get one's work to an audience that it is hoped will on some existential level see value to the work and appreciate whatever messages may be contained therein that challenge the status quo, make people think about new ways of being, new ways of seeing.
That is the rationale behind Gavin Media NU World, programming to and for a NU World audience. An audience whose imagination is as boundless as the creative works being produced for its consumption. That audience is ready to, or already has rejected the idea of a 'Great White Way' school of film, TV, publishing, and/or Broadway product. It is an audience that is opening to widening its view of the world to accept perceptions through a non-white focus.
We still define America in black and white terms. We talk about the majority vs the minority meaning for the most part skin color. Folks with "white" skin verses folks with "colored" skin. But there is more to culture, more than just skin deep. But programmers, demographers, statisticians, politicians, educators, product manufacturers, don't really delve beneath the surface very much to get to ways of being based upon the values which cause groups of individuals to act and react in certain ways. The general audience is an audience that has over the years been indoctrinated to believe that "white is right." White skin, meaning European-American (Western) ancestry denotes superiority in all things cultural, form as well as content. The entire media industry is based upon that idea. An even with "niche" audiences that "white" model isn't strayed from very much.
When Oscar Michaeux was making films for "black" audiences, he made all types of genre films from westerns to mysteries. This audience which was segregated when going to see white films in white theaters (blatant racism) were hungry for images that not only reflected their lives, but also their imaginations as well. That hasn't changed. But "white" money tends to support only those "black" companies and artists that are willing to stay in very comfortable boxes prescribed by what "white" values say will appeal to black audiences. Rather than expanding the pallet of what constitutes the "black" experience and imagination for ALL AUDIENCES and not just black folks.
But the world IS changing inevitably from that "white" model to something much more democratic and much less homogeneous. That democratic, more diverse push is what I call a NU World model. The election twice of Barack Obama signals that trend in politics and we are experiencing the backlash against that inevitable tide with the rise of the Tea Party and their recalcitrant rear guard action to scuttle "Obamacare" through a Gov't Shutdown/Debt Ceiling fight. They will not succeed in the long run. The tide has turned against them.
The NU World train has left the station and it's time for smart folks to hop on board. I certainly have with Gavin Media NU World.