In 300 Words: ASPiRE Lifts the Bar Higher

2013/03/17

ASPiRE, the TV network that media mogul Magic Johnson launched last year in June has proved that positive, family-friendly programming aimed at Black Baby Boomers makes good sense (the preceding alliteration unintentional) — and beaucoup cents.

Major gripe, though, and one not aimed at ASPiRE: When will it take major advertisers to realize that Black people, in relation to their percentage of the U.S. population, represent a disproportionate sector of consumers? Hmmm, how is it that a trash-trendy show like “The Client List” (the novelty wore off mid-first-season) can attract classy ads, but an entire network (i.e., ASPiRE) has nary a major burger chain ad? Hell, I can balance the nirvana from viewing brothas and sistas in a surrealistic film with jazz-scat hunger pangs over Dollar Menu food porn!

It makes my mind wanna rap out my anga, ‘specially when my gut goes gangsta:

Cain’t a thicksta like yours truly getta Whoppa?

Gimme a straw and one-a-nem outlawed large sodas.

Since nobody’s gonna putta ring on it,

I’d might as well poppa onion ring wit it. Sheeeyiiit

ASPiRE hits the right (on!) buttons with a mélange of retro, groundbreaking programs including “Julia,” “The Flip Wilson Show” and “I Spy”; riveting documentaries; thought-provoking Black indie filmmaking that brings festival flava into viewers’ homes Monday nights via “ABFF Independent,” hosted by the brilliant actor Omari Hardwick (pictured above — excuse me for waxing poetic, but this foinnne Savannah native’s surname, HARD-wick, makes a sturdy brown chick wanna burn de candles at both ends); and refreshing morality plays. Tonight I enjoyed “From This Day Forward,” starring Leon (Mmmm) and Essence Atkins, and was stunned that no one broke into song.

Just as Lifetime doesn’t cancel out Oxygen, BET, Centric and TVOne leave breathing space for ASPiRE to thrive. Survival of the fittest and flyest!

© 2013 Chantale Rêve
All Rights Reserved

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