Kandi Burruss Defends What Many Say Are Negative Stereotypes On Real Housewives Of Atlanta

by Black Love And Marriage.com on November 10, 2011

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By Team BLAM

Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss recently sat down with Hello Beautiful and discussed reality TV and the constant criticism from viewers about the negative images of black women on television. Her perspective and comments have generated a lot of buzz and push back. Here’s what she had to say:

“Before I even joined the show everybody was talking about how it brought down the image of black people and black women. But I always tell people when you come on a reality show you’re not trying to represent for a whole race, you’re just doing you. You hope people think you’re interesting and people like it. The one thing people don’t give as far as our series, The Real housewives of Atlanta; we are a majority black cast on a network that doesn’t have that many shows featuring African Americans. So for us to be the number one show on that network…..why people don’t give us any props for that, I don’t even understand.

Yes, it does play into the stereotype of what people say black women are with the neck popping, finger rolling or whatever but I don’t feel like it’s any different than the New Jersey Housewives where it’s mostly Italian Americans on there. What they do on that show? It’s a lot of hot headed Italians on that show but I don’t see their communities saying “ Oh, they’re not representing us Italian Americans correctly or they’re not representing white women correctly.”

I feel like we as black people can be very critical of our own race and I don’t even think it should be a thing of “How are they representing us?” Guess what? If you had a camera on you for six months and they taped as much as they wanted to tape and edited it down, I’m sure they’re going to have some moments where you’re showing out too.”

So, What do you think BLAM Fam? Do you agree with Kandi? Do we as black folks have a responsibility for how we may “portray our race” on TV, film, etc.? Should television networks be challenged to bring more positive images to the screen?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anetta Sidberry Perry-Gurganious November 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

Wow, the comments here hit some very crucial points, and to me it comes down to this. It's a "reality show"…show! However "real" they are supposed to be…they are not. They are edited and created to be exactly that…."a show". You can choose to watch or not. You can choose to believe those beautiful ladies are "really" what we see…or not. I personally would just like to (know) and see the more positive and service oriented things they do. That can be worked into the "show"…right??? I love and support the show and watch faithfully, however, I always am left feeling a little short…because I know they ALL have way more to give("show") us. Continued success to the Ladies" of Atlanta.

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2 Angie Swearingen November 12, 2011 at 7:31 am

I do agree there needs to be more positive images of African Americans on TV. However, a reality show is just that, a reality of what really is happening at that moment. Not tweeking it to perfection or it wouldn't be real. What we see on these reality shows I see in real life with relationships, families, etc. I can relate to it in a sense that some of these situations really do exist among us. ex. issues of being a single mother, dateing, women pursueing their dreams and how we deal with our own moral issues. Phraedra hid her pregnancy date so no one would know she was pregnant before she was married, Kandi was celibant before she jumped into another relationship, and although at one time they were all cool with Kim the race issue came up. To sum it up, I don't feel offended by this show. I am secure in who I am and don't need a TV show to define me. There are enough positive images of black women on this show for people to see in my opinion. Phraedra is a lawyer, Kandi a music producer and business woman, NeNe has made a name for herself by appearing on various shows and there is a professional model on the show. How much more positive can you get? These women are pursueing their dreams! We cannot be so sensitive to how we think everyone views us. Obviously if the show has a high rating people are interested in knowing about our struggles and experiences.

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3 Ayana Au Naturel November 12, 2011 at 7:29 am

Cynthia hit it on the nose! When quality shows about "us" make it to television they fail because we do not support them. The message that we send to the media is that n order for a Black show to survive it must contain drama, buffoonery and mayhem therefore thats exactly what they give us and we flock to it like magnets to a dead body. I applaud the show for being #1 and the last time I surveyed, no one from any of the Housewives' franchise are representatives of me or my friends.

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4 Kennard S. November 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Pretty typical repsonse. We naturally defend ourselves when we are involved in some mess personally. She does have one point, it's hard for some of the acting sisters to get a gig so when they come along, they jump on them. However, I hate it when people just cant tell the truth and call things for what they are. A stereotype is a stereotype. I dont care if all the other shows have them, different races have them and so forth. That doesnt make it right for us to continue to have them. She is in denial and to say the other races have stereotypical show is not an excuse. Now I must admit before I go any further, that I watch Basketball Wives LA with some of the most trifling, backstabbing, fighting, arguing, cynical, rat sewer attitutde chicks that I've ever seen in my life. I can't believe how I look forward to that high powered mess of drama each week lol. Im saying that to say, oh well, it is what it is. I've never watched any of the Housewives series and never will (I'm still trying to figure out how in Gods name did I start watching BB WIVESLA, smh) but it can not be any worse than that show. I conclude with this and Im serious and shaking my head at the same time. When I watch that drama and hear sisters talking about these shows I sometimes just say to myself, " and you all wonder why guys treat yall like (bleeping bleep)and this is the garbage that you all repping on national tv. Glad Im already married to a civilized woman who is classy, has some pride, spiritual and has friends with the same values. Cant be with no sister who is "playing the role and fitting the part of negative stereotypes" that the masters of the world love to see us portray and worse yet, live out.

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5 Aleatha S. November 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm

I agree with Kandi- the show is not even getting the credit it deserves and yes if it was me I would have a moment or 2. The show does not represent all black women- we are all individuals and I love the show I must say so kudos for being #1.

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6 Jakki November 10, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Honestly, I'm so over it…I'm definitively not watching this season. I have watch most of the Black reality shows, and I'm tired of the ignorance. I agree with the other post,it is not enough quality TV on that depicts Black women with intelligence & class. Not to say that these women are not intelligent, because I believe they are, but it is overshadowed by all of the chaos that goes on in the show…Enough with that Angry Black Women Syndrome, enough!!!

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7 jackieholness November 10, 2011 at 10:44 am

I actually rode the bus with Kandi in elementary school (we were bussed to a more affluent area), and she was very nice…As far as the "Housewives of Atlanta" are concerned, I don't mind the show…It's just that there are a lack of other more balanced shows starring black people so this one stands out…With the other "Housewives" shows or even the "Jersey Shore," there are a plethora of other options and it's clear this is only one segment of society…for us, we have the opposite problem…
My recent post Seven Surprising Scriptures That May Keep You From Getting Divorced…

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8 Cynthia November 10, 2011 at 11:49 am

I think you bring up a really good point. We're just not on TV to the same degree that other fols are so it makes foolishness stand out. I'm not gon' lie I watch the show and at the same time I don't think it sends the right message to America about black women. Call me a hypocrite. Most of us are when it comes to stuff like this. We'll go on and on about how it misrepresent us but make sure we're in front of the TV to watch it at the same time. It wouldn't be on if it didn't have so many LOYAL viewers.

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