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Black Women Shouldn't Be Embarrassed by 'Love & Hip Hop'


ColorLines' Akiba Solomon says that the antics of the women on VH1's infamous reality series aren't humiliating; rather, they're part of a sad story about the economic exploitation that takes place in the entertainment industry.

As a cultural observer who is sometimes crippled by Lauren Olamina-level empathy for flawed characters, I'm conflicted about "Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta."

I know how I'm supposed feel about VH-1's latest blockbuster reality show featuring damaged black and brown women.

I'm supposed to declare "Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta" a disgrace to my race, la raza and women the world over. I'm supposed to worry about whether racists and sexists will absorb then generalize the outlandish behavior of key cast members such as Joseline Hernandez, an inarticulate former stripper who tweets pictures of her vagina to prove that she is a woman and calls her manager, Stevie J, "daddy" during a business meeting; Stevie J, a three-time Grammy winner who manipulates rapper Joseline with threats of sending her back to the pole; Momma Dee, a mentally unstable former pimp and drug hustler who regrets not putting the woman who jilted her rapper son "on the track"; and Mimi Faust, the mother of Stevie J's child who punishes him for publicly cheating by demanding a 10-percent stake in Joseline's music career …

The things is, I'm not actually ashamed of the women on "Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta." I am sad for them because I believe they're reacting to the underlying economic exploitation so common in the decentralized entertainment industry.


Read Akiba Solomon's entire piece at ColorLines.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.


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