The Importance of BET within African American Culture


We are still fighting against an entertainment industry that seems determined not to give credit where it’s due. Specifically, to celebrities of color. With more than 45 million African American citizens in the United States, it’s important to remember that they are all working hard to achieve their dreams. And the same goes for African American celebrities and entertainers, who have achieved some important milestones but have not been given their due outside of black celebrity news networks like BET. The following are some of the highest achievements currently in black celebrity news.

Beyonce is currently one of the most successful female singers in the world, selling over 100 million records globally. And, with her newest album Lemonade debuting at #1, she has become the first and only musical act in Billboard chart history to achieve this with their first six studio albums. Her husband Jay-Z is arguably just as successful, being one of the most acclaimed rappers of all time, winning 3 AMAs, 7 BETs, over a dozen BET Hip Hop Awards, among several other accolades. One of his most notable achievements was earning his 11th No. 1 album with The Blueprint 3, allowing him to beat Elvis Presley’s record for most number one albums by an artist. And his and Beyonce’s net worth as performers is over $1 billion, which brings a whole new meaning to being a “power couple”.

Some of the most successful actors in the industry are also black. Will Smith is currently one of the highest paid actor’s, with almost every film he’s been involved in grossing over $100 million. And on the awards front, Denzel Washington is one of the few black actors to win an academy award. He’s actually the second in history, with the first being given to Sidney Poitier in 1963. He’s also got two Oscars under his belt as well, an achievement that other actors are still trying to achieve.

And you can’t talk about black celebrity news without bringing up Oprah. She’s been the talk show queen for a long time. Her talk show aired for 25 seasons and grossed over $125 million during the first year alone. It ran from 1986 to 2011, gaining an audience of over 10 million people and airing on 120 different channels during that time.

With so few black gossip sites, it may seem like this “niche” of entertainment coverage isn’t worth the effort. However, programs like BET are currently airing in more than 90 million homes all over the world. There is a demand for this cultural coverage that isn’t being met. Get Out became one of the most successful movies of 2017, with Black Panther following in 2018. Atlanta started on Fox in 2016 and it’s already set to go to a third season. These aren’t coincidences. People want these kinds of entertainment. Now we just have to decide how to make it happen so that entertainment is a little more inclusive all around.
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