Racial Progress, Measured in Advertising

Thinking about racism, advertising and social media
When I was a kid, my dad used to say, "You'll know we've been accepted when Blacks are in deodorant commercials." If you're younger than 20, that might sound crazy but seriously, Black folks used to be restricted to very limited commercial situations. We ate fast food, we bought American cars, we played sports, we cleaned and did laundry. We never traveled, cleaned ourselves, had sex, ate health food or got to be in the front of a group of people if the other people were White.

Today, Black folks are every where. And yet, my dad and I agree, it doesn't feel like we've completely made it. My new measure for racial equality and triumph over ignorance is when brands can air commercials like Cheerios', showing a mixed family doing regular stuff, and Coca-Cola's Super Bowl ad, showing Americans as multi-cultural, -colorful and -lingual, and nobody says a negative word on Twitter, Facebook or whatever social media channel is popular in that not-too-far-off future.

Money talks. When big brands are spending big cash on all Americans, you know that change is a'comin'.

And, just because I'm lovin' this dude like he's my own son, here's a little glimpse of today's Black teens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6nLAaVeRjQ