Thursday, January 17, 2008

Reality TV Hits Coney Island

The first four mini-episodes of 'Born Ready'- an online reality show which follows Lincoln High basketball star Lance Stephenson and his family- are now up on Lance seems like a nice kid, and hopefully everything will work out for him and his supportive family. That being said, it doesn't seem entirely necessary or healthy to place this level of hype and scrutiny onto a seventeen year old kid.

Episode 3, 'Coney Island', focuses on Lance's neighborhood. The way Coney Island is presented walks a thin line between pointing out the situations and dangers kids growing up in Coney Island face, and just sensationalizing the area's violence. 'Born Ready' seems interested in perpetuating the idea that inner city neighborhoods are places to be abandoned, and that the only way for young black males to do this is through sports. While nobody can fault Lance for wanting to use his skills to help himself and his family get ahead, we viewers need to be asking ourselves what we can do to make our cities' neighborhoods better, and what we can do to provide opportunities to help economically disadvantaged young men become educated, rather than just buying into the mythology of athletes rising from the ashes of ghettos.

- post by
Ben Nadler

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