The Melissa Harris-Perry Show: Politics and People of Color

Posted on August 1, 2012 by


As everyone around me enjoys the spectacle that is the 2012 Summer Olympics (congratulations, Gabby Douglas!), I can’t help but wish things would return to normal, as quickly as possible.  And it’s not my disdain for sports (though it certainly doesn’t help) that fuels this desire, but rather, salvaging my weekend routine.

From 10am-12pm EST every Saturday and Sunday since February, I have been glued to the television watching “The Melissa Harris Perry Show” on MSNBC.  The MHP show covers a wide variety of topics, but I’ve tuned in every week for the safe environment it creates for people of color looking to be a part of the political discourse. While broadcast networks across the nation are increasing the number of PoC in their ranks, that doesn’t always mean the network gets things right for its PoC viewers.

Due to the Olympics, however, the MHP show will be off the air until Sunday August 12, so I’ve selected a few a favorite segments to share with you to tide us all over until the program returns.

1. Melissa Harris Perry while discussing the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, contextualizes the shooting by discussing gun violence as a whole in America.  Perry never belittles the tragedy in Aurora, but she reminds viewers that for citizens of cities like Chicago and New Orleans, gun violence is a chronic problem.

2. In a “Teachable Moment” MHP lets viewers in on the discussion of black hair. She discusses not only perms, hot combs, and weaves, but also the politics of a black woman’s hair, a topic that flies under the radar of most mainstream media.

3. MHP presents a guide for how white people can talk about Trayvon Martin. But the guidelines can be applied to race discussions in other circumstances as well.

Posted in: Television