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Where do I fit in?

January 17, 2011

Photo by Karen Rodriguez


By Lauren Robinson, Staff Writer

Young Harris College prides itself on being a college as well as an environment in which students and staff members alike are incorporated in the culture and activities that occur on campus. As a freshman, college in general has been a major adjustment in regards to academics and campus life.  When I find free time in my schedule, which is usually in the evening, I enjoy watching my favorite series on television. Engaging in something that I am familiar with away from home allows me to feel that much more comfortable with my surroundings.

Sitcoms, dramas, cartoons, reality shows and the newest star search have been quite an influence on today’s pop culture. You may find yourself perusing through the channels and happen upon a show that interests you. Consequently, you set your DVR and/or TiVo to record that particular show if you cannot be present to view it as it is being aired. Television has evolved into more than a pastime where families spend time together during the evening hours watching a show that pleases everyone. It has become something of which people in society find themselves scheduling their daily lives and/or schedules around.

Now let’s change the dynamic, shall we? It’s 10:00 o’clock at night and the game is on.  The channel that I am looking for does not appear to be there.  Just to be sure, I check the TV Guide Channel for that particular channel. The network that I watch my favorite television show is not offered. Now what do I do? Immediately, I think to check Hulu online. The show could possibly be available for later viewing. However, it is not.  Two strikes and I’m almost out of options. I may just have to wait until I can take a break, go home and catch up on the latest drama.

As a student, there are a multitude of things that are un-constant and changing. While most things are in sync some things have yet to reach equilibrium.

Black Entertainment Television, otherwise known as BET, is a division of Viacom Inc. BET was launched January 20, 1980. As stated on the website, “BET provides contemporary entertainment that speaks to young Black adults from an authentic, unapologetic viewpoint of the Black experience. BET connects with its target audience in a way no other media outlet can providing hit music, entertainment and news programming that is reflective of their experiences such as: 106 & PARK, RAP CITY, MEET THE FAITH, COLLEGE HILL, and AMERICAN GANGSTER. In addition, outstanding mega-specials such as the BET AWARDS (the #1 Awards Show on Cable Television), BET HIP-HOP AWARDS and CELEBRATION OF GOSPEL keep viewers regularly tuned in for the latest and greatest in black entertainment. Reaching more than 84 million homes, BET can be seen in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.”

More often than not, there is a stigma placed on BET and the people that watch it. There is an underlying prejudice towards the network in general. An assumption is made and those who do not care for the content usually judge those who like the channel. In my case, BET is a source of information as well as an outlet that allows for self-expression. BET is an advocate for social justice, on the forefront of political news, first to leak new music from new and old artists and fighting the AIDS epidemic. It is a part of my culture and being without it is difficult. I feel as if I’m not aware of my cultural happenings and lagging behind.

I can easily choose to be pessimistic and play the victim in the situation. However, that would not be in my best interest. I’m pretty sure that I am not alone in this predicament. There are probably more people on campus and in the community that have a preference of channels. The best way to solve a minor issue like this is to bring it to the forefront and verbalize my frustration. What channel are you missing?

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