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Written by Westside ID4392   
Tuesday, 17 June 2008 07:37

On Wednesday, June 25 at 8:00 p.m..* BET News premieres the second installment of its popular town hall series, HIP HOP VS. AMERICA II: WHERE DID THE LOVE GO?, a no-holds-barred discussion focusing on music videos, misogyny within the hip-hop culture, race vs. gender, the strained relationships between black men and women and the media’s role in shaping the perception of African Americans.  Hip-hop culture and controversy have always made for familiar bedfellows, and with this special, BET News provides viewers with a forum to address some of the most pressing issues facing the Black community today.

Hosted by BET News correspondent Jeff Johnson and hip hop pioneer MC Lyte, this primetime special provides a platform for a heated debate that aims to uncover the cause and effect of relationships between Black men and women.  This three-part special features a passionate, lively and opinionated debate that tackles many sensitive issues, including:·   the images of women on television, particularly in music videos; ·   sins of sexism; ·   a segment about “What’s love got to do with it?” to explore if this current climate further erodes the familial structure; ·   a segment “Am I my sister’s keeper?” featuring an all-female panel that cuts across generational, socioeconomic and cultural lines; ·   race vs. gender; and ·   the role the media plays in shaping American and international perceptions of Black women. 

Here’s what some of the panelists had to say:

“…if you watch The Bachelor and you check them out, they’re not only still married, they are expecting a child, and they’re respected as having a serious relationship.  However, when we did it, and I found my mate in that household, it was looked at as though it was ‘toony’ or it was a joke…” – Deelishis London Charles, Winner, Flavor of Love 2

“I will say this to all the women: If you want to change what’s going on – pick better mates.  In most cases, with these men, you know what type of men they are when you lay down with them.  You have to make a decision for yourself to pick a better mate.  If you want to change this society, close your legs.” – David Banner, rapper

“An artist’s job is to voice the struggle to inspire a generation of leaders.  It is wrong to put the job of raising children on the artist when it comes in the home first.” – Talib Kweli, hip hop recording artist

“We need to see more female video directors, we need to see more female executives and we need to just diversify really what we’re looking at.  Its just one type of man that seems to be running the business of hip hop.”  – Kim Osorio, author

Participants in HIP HOP VS. AMERICA II include David Banner (rapper/producer); Lil X (director); Talib Kweli (hip hop recording artist); Lyfe Jennings (R&B recording artist); Lola Ogunnaike (journalist); Allison Samuels (Newsweek magazine); Nelson George (author/director/producer); Kevin Powell (writer/cultural critic); Michael Eric Dyson (author/professor, Georgetown University); Deelishis London Charles (winner, Flavor of Love 2); Angel Lola Love (video model/actress); Kim Osorio (author); Fershgenet Melaku (video model/actress); Michaela Angela Davis (journalist); Esther Armah (BBC journalist); Eugene Rivers (Christian activist); Clayton Gavin (hip hop artist/activist); Marc Lamont Hill (professor, Temple University); Melissa Harris Lacewell (professor, Princeton University); Lavonne Alford (recording artist); Beverly Bond (founder, Black Girls Rock, Inc. / hip hop DJ); Moya Bailey (activist/actor); Byron Hurt (filmmaker); Henry Bonsu (journalist); Akosua Anobil-Dodoo (journalist); LaShawna Stanley (President/CEO, Ethnicity Models); Ali LeRoi (producer/writer/director); M1 Dead Prez (hip hop artist/activist); and San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris.

Part I premieres Wednesday, June 25 at 8:00 p.m.*  with the second hour airing on Thursday, June 26 at 8:00 p.m.*  The third episode with additional exclusive footage will be available on BET ON BLAST, the network’s broadband channel (http://www.bet.com/OnBlast/), immediately following Part II’s airing.

Selwyn Seyfu Hinds is executive producer of HIP HOP VS. AMERICA II: WHERE DID THE LOVE GO?.

*All times ET/PT


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