The Black Experience: 2020’s political impact on American history pt 1

This week, our 'What's In It For Us' hosts discuss mainstream media's inability to eulogize historic Black people

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This week on the What’s In it For Us? Podcast, Dr. Christina Greer and Dr. Jason Johnson look at a year full of devastating losses.  From Little Richard, Kobe Bryant to New York City’s beloved Mayor, David Dinkins, mainstream media’s inability to eulogize historic Black people is worth a discussion. This week, our hosts unpack the uncanny similarities between the current civil rights movement to that of the 1950s and 60s; examining how the COVID-19 pandemic exposed us all to bare truths. 

“One of the 2020s showed us gems, it shows you a lot about what you’ve built before you got here. If you built up a good nest egg, goodwill, kindness, and faithness–this a time to settle and cash that in a meaningful way,” says Johnson.

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A protester marches during the All Black Lives Matter Solidarity March on June 14, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sarah Morris/Getty Images)

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It’s no doubt that 2020 has been the strangest year in many peoples’ lives. Both Greer and Johnson agree that “there will be books and films” made about just the happenings of this year. As the year counts down, Johnson is just praying that the “aliens do come down” and make us go for another historical ride. 

“Let’s be clear, the year started for us with the loss of Kobe Byrant, that threw us off kilter,” says Greer to Johnson.

Right after Bryant passed, reckoning “with our morality in a different way,” COVID hit us globally and in our communities heavily and specifically. 2020 has been “a long funeral” and Greer and Johnson wonder when the closure will be. We’re used to “growing old” with our heroes, stars, and even friends–but the nature of 2020 has felt as if it’s been a robbing.

The back-to-back losses of Black America’s precious leaders added pain to the entirety of 2020, on top of a pandemic. Johnson notes that “Chadwick Boseman was going to be Gen X’s Danny Glover.” We all hoped to see him continue to age gracefully and continue his activism, philanthropic, and humanitarian work. 

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Lakers fans stand in line to celebrate in front of a mural of Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant on October 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. People gathered to celebrate after the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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“I will say, as the lone supporter of 2020–[this year], keeps showing us gems. We’re a lot more phoenix than we thought, we rise from the ashes,” says Greer to Johnson.

2020 has brought small joys to the world. From friendships becoming intact, Black businesses rising to new heights, a Black woman in the White House; there are many things to clap in accomplishment too. In a global pandemic, “there’s a lot of beautiful things in the slow down” from enjoying nature to learning crafts.

Our communities learned the ethic of satisfying our souls. And leveraging our emotional and mental well beings as a priority, as well as our total healths is something we should completely take with us all to 2021. 

Cheers to the New Year and  stay tuned to What’s In It For Us. The funny, politically edgy Black commentary podcast. 

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