My Secret Addiction is Working Against me



So, I realized that some people keep their addictions a secret.  I realized that I shouldn’t keep my addiction a secret any longer  The first step to recovery is to admit, or at least that is what my father always says.  I sat down and have thought a lot about how my addiction impacts my life and what is really at the root of it.  It finally came to me after a little thought and a number of conversations (with myself and OTHERS.  yes i do admit that i talk to myself and at other times talk to other people.  I might add that these other people are not my other personality).  So this really is about me learning about my consciousness and exploring where I am as I move forward in my life.  So her is my confession (in Usher voice)….


I AM ADDICTED TO REALITY TELEVISION & Everything that is bad about it…or is it?

This is an important thing for me to admit on a blog like this because it really really is a part of myself that may not fit into the model of a travelling womanist.  I find this especially important to admit because as I begin to have more and more conversations with my friends and family about the powers of words and images and how culture influences these words and images as the are transported around the world, it becomes important to not only concern myself with what comes out of my mouth but also what goes into my brain.  These shows that I watch shamelessly are what make me – me.  However, I have been forced to really think about the perpetuation of pop culture and the appropriation of “urban” culture that is marketed and fundamentally distributed throughout the world.  It fascinates me to see caricatures of a marketed ideal of stereotypes of people of color and then see it personified as “real life.”  It’s almost like watching a parody of a satire of a parody of a satire of the most horrible stereotypes created to oppress.


Yes, I think about all of this and think about it hard because like so many of us, I watched many versions of The Bedroom Intruder Song and followed the many blogs that debated about the relevance and mass marketing of the creation.  I found myself with an internal struggle about this and often questioned how I truly felt about it…


These thoughts in relation to my addiction are not well thought out at this point because this is an idea in progress.  I close this blog out with a short story.


Once upon a time I lived in Zambia.  One night I sat with my host family watching television.  As we watched tv a movie that they family loved came on the television.  I was astonished and intrigued by the movie that they all seemed to really like.  The movie was Bringing Down The House (you know the movie with Steve Martin and Queen Latifah).  Now this movie, I hadn’t really given much of a second thought to in the US.  I was a bit confused why Queen Latifah chose to do this move and it made me a bit sad because to me it didn’t seem like satire at all, just another rehashing of stereotypes from the hollywood machine.  The movie seemed to reinforce poor stereotypes while using no creative license at all to explore relationships between unlikely housemates.  As an African-American woman in America, I had ignored the movie, read a couple of blogs and kept it moving.  As an African-American woman in a Zambian household that was constantly learning and engaging with my Zambian brothers and sisters about what African-American culture meant to me it this movie became my enemy.  This movie became a challenge because it worked against the stereotypes that I had began to demystify.  This is when I realized the power of culture, media and the African-American cultural mystique that when not protected would be spread around the world.  This was the next step in my journey in recognizing the importance of the Chronicles of Travelling Womanists…


Peace B. Still,





~ by travelling womanists on January 10, 2011.

6 Responses to “My Secret Addiction is Working Against me”

  1. I am thinking about two things after reading your post. 1) there is a constant necessity in American culture of addimitting and publicizing some kind of addiction. I don’t know… For me, this is bullshit! It’s a modern way to find responses for some behavious which are seen as dysfunctional. I wonder if John Coltrane would be called addicted in music during the 1950s/1960s. Everything which provides pleasure has the potential to become a kind of “addiction”, but this supposed “addiction” is not a real “addiction” is it doesn’t have a negative impact on other aspects of your life. Well…..

    About the stereotypes… Black folks around the world are much more complex of their representation on TV or movies. At the same time, I am pretty sure this media are not able to show our diversity because is totally impossible. That’s the reason they work with stereotypes once this is kind of stuff which is easy to understand and funny when showed on movies for regular people. Thinking thinking…



    • Thanks for your comments kibe!!! Im a big believer that too much of a thing is never good. Things (in my opinion) should always be in some type of balance whether they are good or bad. While its important to recognize that stereotypes serve a purpose they are often prevalent in places that cause more harm than good. Im sure we will all kep thinking and thinking and thinking about all of the complexities of the African diaspora as well as explore the cultural context of life as a human on this spaceship called earth. Dont forget to subscribe to the blog!!! We appreaciate your support!!

      • Kibe,
        I do agree with you about how Americans perceive their “addictions” and the cultural context of what we share and what is addiction. I also think that while you may think that we are more than our “stereotypes” (which, I believe, of course) the other hand is the cultural implication. In that, when I am in another country, people believe ALL that they see about Black People. I think Paul Mooney put it best…superman was a white man, if SUPERMAN was a Black Man, people would ask us to fly as well!

  2. Excellent piece of writing, l quite agree with your submission. I will subscribe to your rss to keep up.

  3. Americans do over use the term “addiction” but it is easy to become addicted to things in this culture. Everything is in excess – tv shows repeat several times throughout the night and if you still miss them you can find them online, food is always readily available, prescription drugs / street drugs and / or alcohol are a phone call away. Nothing is out of reach and like clones we all partake in way too much of everything.

    Dreading the return of “The Game” to BET and the launch of the iPhone to the Verizon network. Blah.

    • Thanks so much for your comment Texas Kincaid. Its all so overwhelming and fascinating to see how over or an under abundance of whatever can lead to so many things. Your comment emphasizes the need for balance. We need balance at BET (ie your comment about the game), in our lives and hearts and in the things that we do. I guess our ability to maintain balance is what makes us all very special.

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