On Wednesday and Thursday night, I watched the two-part show on CNN called Black In America. Wednesday night was supposed to be more about women, and Thursday night's show was supposed to be more about men. There was some mixing, but overall, the statistics for each were on the correct night, though some of the stats were shocking, and the stories that were told were right on, if tough to watch at times.

First, let's get this out of the way; this wasn't a program for black people. That was evident from the beginning, and later on, almost every black person I talked to said the same thing: "I knew all of this already." For black people, there was little new ground that was covered; for me in particular, though, I still thought it was an important program to show, and though it's also easy to say "they should have shown this" or "they should have shown that", overall it was a credible enough representation, if people were paying attention.

I say it that way because of a conversation I was having with someone who didn't see the show. I was talking about a statistic that came up during the show when it was posted that the number one killer of black women between the age of 25 and 34 was HIV, and he said that it must indicate that a lot of single black women are being promiscuous; ouch! That's not what it was saying at all, but it points out how some statistics are be interpreted in different ways, and one meant to highlight a problem could be interpreted as "people are getting what they deserve based on their behavior."

Half of the black people I talked to said the show should have said more about what could be done about some of the inequities; I said that's not what the show was supposed to be about. In my mind, this was a snapshot of the different things black people in America go through because they're black, not because they're poor or uneducated or any other reason.

There were some good things also, such as showing the one little boy who gets great grades while getting paid to learn and gives half of his money to his dad to help with bills. I even liked the first story on the first half of the family where the patriarch of the family had a white wife and a black mistress, had many children by each woman, and now they get together in a large family reunion after many years of not acknowledging each other. After all, life isn't all bad for black people; thank goodness for that.

I could talk about it some more, but the truth is if you saw the show then you know all the stories, and if you didn't then you're probably not going back to watch it. I wonder overall how white people took this story, and how they cared, if they cared. Was there anything surprising in this story for you? Was there anything that made you think that you wanted to help people? Was most of it alien to you? Did you think the people in the story were mostly responsible for themselves and should get off the couch and get to work (though, I hope you were paying attention to the second part, where many black men were trying to get jobs)?

This was an important show, even if it couldn't be a complete show. Will it start a conversation, or will it disappear from people's minds within a couple of weeks? Let's see how things play out; I'm betting on the latter, though.