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?

14 AverageComments™:

kimh20s said...

if you're a hater, than i'm one too. i saw the advertisement for newbos. once again, we need to just tell our own story. hello, we've got a BLACK PRESIDENT, but you're telling me that T.O. is the new overclass?

it's almost as if this show with its focus on music and sports is msm's way of telling black america "don't get too carried away with this obama presidency, your true place and value is sports and entertainment".

Denise said...

I won't be watching this just as I didn't watch CNN's offering from Soledad O'Brian.

I am turned off by the whole "overclass" notion (which for me implies "excess" rather than sustainable achievement), not to mention the focus on athletics and entertainment.


BlkBond said...

Sports and Entertainment seem to be an easy target. God forbid they do any REAL journalism and research.

Sports and Entertainment should not be a focal point also, because there is only 1 Black sports team owner--besides the slew of entertainers claiming part-ownership status.

Bond. BlkBond.

Kirby said...

This is such BS right here. I can't believe they picked these people to represent the "overclass" and what the fuck kind of classification is "overclass". Seems like a vailed attempt to divide and conquer and pander to the whole elitist attitude; this a huge fail for CNBC.

And why are they acting as if blacks only recently came into money and that we can only do so through sports and entertainment. Have this cocksuckers ever heard of Madame CJ Walker. The first female millionare.

ann said...

I won't be watching, I may give it a side-eye or even a side glance, but no person should be opining over Diddy, Lebron, maybe because he seems to be humble, but not Diddybop. Why re-emphasize the stereotype that sports and entertainment will get you money.

Ciara said...
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Ciara said...
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Ciara said...

Is that all we are as Black people: entertainers and athletes? Is that all we have to offer to society? Is that the only way that we can make money and get recognition? So okay, if I can't shoot a 20 footer or rap, I should just pack my shit up and call it a day?

*warning* Vent Session *warning*

This shit is SO ass-backwards. It ain't about a damn jumpshot. I have a mind that transcends sports and entertainment. I'm smart. I'm qualified. I will make my mark in WHATEVER I choose to do whether CNBC thinks I'm worthy of recognition or not. Best believe, someone of importance is going to pay attention.


the uppity negro said...

Thats all we lift up in our own community, per se. We may talk about the Ruth Browns in our own conclaves, but when larger issues are at play, we mention the easy targets like Terrell Owens on LeBron James.

AB, fact of the matter is that most of us dont pick up Black Enterprise, Id be happy if our folks picked up something that was printed literature, not just random gossip blogs. Hell Vibe would work for me. As a result, it should come as no shock that this is who they pick.


Lovin' the "meh"

Alfred Edmond said...

This is an absolute misrepresentation of how wealth is created. Rags-to-riches stories in sports and entertainment are not new, and athletes and entertainers are not wealthy enough to be an "overclass"--whatever that means.

Monie said...

Black people are either broke down welfare recipients or pro athletes/ entertainers; nothing in between.

This portrayal tells us that we aren't normal, that either we are total failures or extreme successes. In other words we just aren’t normal everyday people. The media LOVES this narrative.

And putting a Black journalist in the mix doesn’t change the equation but apparently the media thinks that gives them cover.

Renata said...

I think that the entertainers and atheletes thing is kind of like the safe acceptable jobs. It is almost like certain occupations that we we "directed to" in the past. There is no threat there. IMO. There is also an overfocus on money as being the end all to be all in defining who makes it. I think it is safe to say that it is not even the most important criteria, again IMO. I hate the way we hold these people up, to me it is like a brain drain in our community in a way. Kids see that and don't see any alternatives. There are so many areas that we are under represented, I want to hear about people who are in those areas. I want to hear about scientists and mathematicians and others in the social services and teachers. I want to hear about anthropolgists and historians. People who made and defined sucess on thier own. I want to hear about Jay Z mom and Luda's mom, and Beyonce's dad.

I agree Monie,and I love the fact that I am a everyday person. I am geeky and goofy and a host of contradictions. I wish that we could see the diversity of our communities.

Kelly.A.Whyte said...

Here's a copy of the email I sent to CNBC expressing my disgust at NEWBOS:
To Whom It May Concern At CNBC,

As an educated black woman, I was totally insulted by the entire prorgam. Bob Johnson and Cash Money Records have built their fortunes by trafficking in gross stereotypes about black women and black men as being oversexed, criminally minded, and grotesquely obsessed with material gains. Yet, the host does not even address that elephant in the room.

CNBC should be ashamed of producing a show like this that perpetuates the stereotype that the path to wealth for black men is with a basketball, baseball, or rap lyrics that defame black men and women. And,if you are a black woman, just forget about it because you don't exist anyway.

Why not contact Black Enterprise and get a list of black male and female millionaires who are educated and work in Corporate America? Or call some of the Friends of Obama so America can see the other side of black success and wealth through education? That probably would have required too much work on CNBC's part. And since when did CNBC turn into MTV Cribs? I cringed in horror while the host interviewed the Cash Money crew. The tattoos, the disgusting mouth grills, the gaudy jewelry was painful to watch.

The fight against black sterotype and black pathology never ends. As the Obamas shatter stereotypes, CNBC merely reinforced them.

Just the term NEWBOS made me cringe. It's so low brow, so tacky, and dare I say, ghetto? And, other than Kirk Franklin, Lebron James, and Bob Johnson, the tacky display of wealth by the others was so embarrassing. As the old saying goes, “Old money whispers, new money shouts”.

Many affluent and educated blacks are equally disgusted by your program. Check out what the blogosphere is saying:

CNBC has lost many viewers because of this NEWBOS debacle. I have asked my family, friends, and colleagues to get their financial information from Bloomberg and CNN.

Black Dragon said...

I personally hate sh-t like this, I am like the people you mention who made my money the boring way and these exposes tend to make it harder to talk to black youth about Capitalism. The first thought that comes to mind is... maybe "the man" strategically showcases only the "young bucks" in these documentaries to keep us tossing watermelons into a basket for money, but common sense tells me that it is a money thing as usual. No-one would watch a show about black entrepreneurship, so it is much easier to show the athletes and blowhards.

Anyway, that's my hate for the month. It is sh-t like this that keeps us quiet when "dropping knowledge" on the youth. Its much easier to teel em to perfect their jump shot.

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