Thursday, February 26, 2009

CNBC Presents NEWBOs.

CNBC's oddly named NEWBOs is apparently some Black History Month examination of the "new generation of black millionaires". I'll admit, as intriguing as it looks, the fact that all the guys featured are in sports and entertainment makes me a little bit iffy.

I hate sounding like a hater, but who doesn't already know about Lebron, T.O., Chris Lighty, Diddy, and Baby from Ca$h Money? What about the dozens of cats I see in Black Enterprise every month? And the whole "young guys/next gen" meme clearly isn't a theme here, hence a segment on Bob Johnson.

And why no sistas? Isn't the whole "black men as overbosses" thing sorta played out anyway? I'm just sayin'.

I suppose a documentary about the dozens of black folks I personally know who busted their butts getting degrees, worked their ways up the corporate ladder, networked, then took a major plunge to create a successful business would be boring to some. But what about guys like Aldwyn Lewis, Ronald Williams, Ken Chenault, and John W. Thompson, who are CEO's of Fortune 500 companies? And since you're talking sports, why not show Florida State defensive back Myron Rolle, who is about to skip the NFL to become a Rhodes Scholar? How about Brown University President Ruth Simmons, the first sista to lead an Ivy League school? There are super-achieving black women other than Oprah, ya' know!

I guess I should watch the show, which airs tonight at 9pm, before I speak, but the hater in me expects the worst. What do ya'll think?

[Editor's Update: I finally got around to watching this show, and lemme tell ya'. It was everything I feared and worse. One token woman was sorta featured, but otherwise it was a relentless cavalcade of excess (Ca$h Money), ignorance (T.O.), and superficiality (Bob Johnson). The part about Lebron James handing all his business dealings over to his homeboys was interesting, but that was it. I fast fwd past more of this cause I just couldn't take it. The show does have an ulterior motive. This "NEWBOS" thing is a book that's coming out soon. So, as opposed to some Black History Month celebration, this appeared to be little more than a plug for a book that GE will inevitably make a buck off. I don't know if this makes it any better though.]

Question: What do you think of the NEWBOs trailer? Do you think the Black community as a whole values achievement in sports and entertainment at the expense of other venues like corporate america or academia, or is this just Americas period?

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