While listening to Soledad O’Brien and Naamua Delaney talk about her documentary, she reiterated something that I hinted on last year when the first installment was released: the purpose of perspective.

First, I’m not directly attacking any particular person. I love the Black Twitterverse and enjoy the opinions of all. The candid conversation in that space is invaluable.

With that said, I am disappointed about the knee-jerk reaction to the Black in America 2 documentary series. As I scrolled through my stream in Tweetie, I tried to remember the anger, outrage, and vitriol of the last couple of years from the community surrounding many stories involving Black people.

I know we haven’t forgotten the opinion and speculation during Obama’s campaign, Jena 6, Dunbar Village, Marcus Dixon, Dr. Gates, and the depiction of Michael Jackson and his burial. I kept these incidents in mind because the common thread in that emotion was the lack of perspective from journalists, commenters, and the overall community.

Now, think about that for a second.

One of the biggest hurdles in our efforts as a country, in tackling our historical demons, is the concept of perspective. The micro-racism we’ve all experienced generally occurs when this concept is absent. The arresting officer in the Dr. Gates fiasco is evidence of this fact.

Yet, the idea our country’s principles outlined in our founding documents provide an unquestionable goal that we are all equal and should strive to create a society pursuant to that fact. In that pursuit, the laws of our land attempt to mitigate our natural bias, yet we still lack empathy. We blame the lack of education as a culprit.

Well, the Black in America documentary series is an educational tool to push us towards that ultimate goal. The dismissive snark that seems to be evident about the piece because it lacks a depiction of  your personal experience is not the point.

The point is to cut a swath as large as possible to provide perspective, ultimately countering the generalizations that derail progress in our country.

The perspective created for the those teenagers, when they inserted themselves into the lives of another human being in a different part of the world, was powerful. It may not have created a perfect individual with great grades and a lovely attitude, but it created hope and confidence.

The perspective of students being able to count on a person who truly believes in them in spite of difficult odds, including a broken family situation and dilapidated living conditions, is powerful. It’s something Dr. Perry gets up every morning at 4:45am to guarantee. He understands that the complexities of this world are tackled not only through determination, hard work, and education, but also the ability to see yourself doing great things and achieving those things. The ability to see the bigger picture.

The perspective taught through leadership programs and networking organizations to Americans, who seemingly have done the right things and enjoy privilege, created paths to corporate leadership. The existence of these conduits is highlighted, ultimately creating an impression that efforts are being made and the future is being claimed.

In the end, the series personifies experiences that all Americans identify. Whether you’ve been touched by recognizing your own gifts, found someone to believe in and learn from, or simply pursuing your next goal, the documentary casts a light on a multitude of individualized experiences that, together, provide viewers with an additional perspective of Black Americans.

It can be argued that ‘normal and regular’ Blacks should be highlighted too, and, to be honest, I’m not sure what that means. The idea of throwing as many unique and entertaining experiences into the concept of an American who happens to be Black seems to be the most effective effort in pursuing equality.

This concept of equality is the perspective we all desire as a diverse society and what ultimately, as President Obama stated last night, makes us safer and stronger.

Soledad’s journalistic experiments seem to be doing just that.

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