Today I discovered a new to me show on NPR called Day to Day hosted by Farai Chideya whom I found to be awesome in her inter & reporting style. The show discussed some interesting items so I sat in my car to listen to the entire show. When I got home I needed to get more info on Farai Chideya & found her 5 year old website PopandPolitics.com which I now love. Many stories about things I am interested in hearing about & some great POV’s. PopandPolitics.com is basically is a news site discussing pop culture & politics from a fresh perspective & certainly not watered down.
Back to Farai Chideya, I was excited to read that she was so accomplished & out there in the news world at large.
- In 1997 Newsweek named her to its “Century Club” of 100 people to watch. In 2002
- Chideya has been a correspondent for ABC News, anchored the Prime Time program
- Contributed commentaries to CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and BET
- In the 2001-2002 academic year, she was a Knight Fellow at Stanford University, a prestigious honor granted 20 journalists from around the world
OK enough jocking of Farai, now you know that this sister is on the move & making it happen along the way!
One on the funniest stories I found on her blog was a story written by an emerging reporter & San Francisco State University student Jessica Jones titled “Oprah is a Talk Show Mammy”. I am not a big Oprah fan so I really got into the comparison & was like yeah, Jessica is right, sorry Oprah lovers. Here is the story as listed on PopandPolitics.com.
It’s official: Oprah is the Queen of Talk. And she’s got her 20th anniversary DVD collection to prove it.
Unfortunately, I’m not excited. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why I don’t like Oprah. It could be the fact that her and Steadman are a joke. It could be that Oprah’s favorite things are not her favorite things at all; they are things Oprah’s producers could get for free. It could be because she neurotically twitches her head from side to side, and screams “ahhhhh” in an ethereal voice when she gets excited. Or it could be the fact that she is a modern day mammy.
I think I’ll go with the latter. To make things fun, I am going to play a little word association game. Let’s take every characteristic we know is true about a mammy and see how closely it relates to Oprah.
– Mammy: big. Oprah: bigger.
– Mammy: dark skinned. Oprah: dark cover-up.
– Mammy: middle aged. Oprah: half a century.
– Mammy: good humored. Oprah: a joke.
– Mammy: politically safe. Oprah: political?
– Mammy: asexual. Oprah: Steadman.
– Mammy: entertains white people and helps them see their true, good selves. Oprah: entertains white people and helps them see their true, good selves.
Oprah is a modern day mammy. I mean, I watch Oprah everyday at 4 o’clock like the rest of them — the show’s addicting. But you have to admit, there are some strong Oprah-mammy similarities.
Take her audience and guests, for example. They can easily be summed up as white soccer moms who have too much time on their hands, become depressed, and need Oprah’s home cooked philanthropy to help them feel better about themselves. Almost every show has someone whose life has fallen apart and needs Oprah to mend it back together. Oprah sits back on her plush white chair and spreads the knowledge she has gained from her years of life experience because Oprah knows best.
And when she is not saving a white person’s life, or at least making a white person feel better about their life, she is telling jokes in her cute “urban, southern, black folk slang accent.” This usually results in her white audience rolling in laughs as Oprah has mocked black culture once again as a way to entertain them.
I know Oprah is blind to her mammyness, but I wish she would wake up and stop perpetuating the racist caricature. It’s sad that it’s 2005 and the idea of the mammy still prevails in our society. This concept should have been Gone With the Wind, just like Hattie McDaniel.