“Blacks only” “Whites only” signs posted on water fountains at Colerain High School

bigkat

Well-known member
Are you comparing BET, an entertainment channel that caters to urban audiences but is free for anyone to consume, to whites only drinking fountains lol
all these years and I being a white dude thought i was NOT Allowed to watch that channel......... but I did watch Soul Train on Saturdays back in the day...was that OK?
 

Indiandad

Well-known member
I've explained this IRL to people, but here goes it....
BET was established 40 plus years ago as alternative programming to MTV. MTV was de facto WET. No persons of color the 1st few years of MTV existence. Just like NBA vs WNBA, or PGA vs LPGA- you don't need to add 'white' or 'men' when it's presumed by the general public who the intended audience is
Do you watch BET? Why or why not?
 

Yorktown

Well-known member
The 1st couple of years, no.
He, Prince, and a couple of Reggae songs were in rotation in the early 80s
LMFAO,
MTV start in 1981… Yo MTV Raps started in 1988.. I think there were a more than a couple black artists in the early days of MTV.
You say first couple years.. for 1981 - 1983.. at startup how many videos were even out there? And even if there were videos/films that were taken during the 60-70s that could be used on MTV they would had to secure rights to play them. Do more of a deep dive into history instead of just going with the everything is racist narrative.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
I stand corrected. Michael, prince and a couple others WERE in rotation. However the ratio of people of color and white artists was extremely low. I'm not saying there needed to he some type of equal representation. I'm saying BET was created because of all the black artist during this time of the video exploring, very few were shown on MTV. Hence BET was born
No, you're correct.

MTV started in August 1, 1981.

The first video by a Black entertainer was Jackson's Billie Jean on March 10, 1983.

That doesn't make it racist though. Like some radio stations, MTV's format was rock and roll, not rhythm and blues. It would change though.
 
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nwwarrior09

Well-known member
BET actually launched before MTV, but I believe did not actually have it's own network until the mid-80s, instead having a few hours of block time each week on what was then Madison Square Garden Network and is now USA Network.

MTV for most of the 80s was effectively a rock music video channel and was de facto white cultural transmission as rock was (and still is) an overwhelmingly white artist genre, before pivoting a bit throughout the 90s to other predominantly white trends such as pop music, boy bands, and the emergence of teenage/young adult reality television. For them, I'd probably argue the "peak" of that did not involve The Real World (which is what I think probably comes to mind for most people), but the various reality programs they had as Millenials were coming of age in the 2000s that were set in places like Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills, and along the Jersey Shore. Their target audience was and is white urban/suburban kids.

BET and the limited reach it had prior to the rise of digital cable in the early 2000s was just an alternative space for heavily black artist genres, whether hip hop, rap, blues, etc., along with airing re-runs of a handful of comedies with primarily black characters. CMT (country music) arose at roughly the same time, also filling a niche as what is predominantly rural white culture has never had a niche space on MTV.
 
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winbypin

Well-known member
Not until the Thriller era. He had to become the biggest star on the planet, practically re-invent the music video, and have the best-selling album of all time to be put in heavy rotation there
Mtv started in 1981. Thriller came out in November, 1982. Artists and labels really weren't making any videos prior to 1981...so it's not like they had a huge catalog of videos to show from artists.
 

chs1971

Well-known member
is that surprising?
First, it's very likely CBS doesn't know what happened. Unfortunately that does not stop the "news" from reporting little more than gossip.

Second, and that doesn't stop people from jumping to their own explanations and conclusions. Lot's of comments and nobody really knows what happened.
 

nwwarrior09

Well-known member
Why is the discussion focused on WET and BET?

Why isnt there a network for Asians? American teenage girls crave a channel for K-Pop. It's a massively undeserved market
I don't know how much of a need there is at this point...I'd imagine most kids are filling that crave through YouTube, TikTok, etc.

The way kids experience media IMO would make it very difficult for anyone to successfully launch a new music/culture oriented network.
 

BlueJayFan

Well-known member
all these years and I being a white dude thought i was NOT Allowed to watch that channel......... but I did watch Soul Train on Saturdays back in the day...was that OK?
If you thought you weren't allowed then you're even stupider than you make yourself appear on here day in and day out
 

BlueJayFan

Well-known member
Mtv started in 1981. Thriller came out in November, 1982. Artists and labels really weren't making any videos prior to 1981...so it's not like they had a huge catalog of videos to show from artists.
Should have clarified, it wasn't until the Billie Jean video in 1983 that this happened. MTV was almost 2 years old at that time and had 0 black artists in heavy rotation. And that was only because the head of Jackson's label threatened to pull all of his artists' videos off MTV if they didn't play it

Videos back then were basically performances dubbed with the studio track. There were still big hits and they were played in heavy rotation on MTV. It wasn't until the Billie Jean video that a black artist was played consistently compared to their white counterparts
 
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OldSoulon

Well-known member
Not until the Thriller era. He had to become the biggest star on the planet, practically re-invent the music video, and have the best-selling album of all time to be put in heavy rotation there
He even had to have extreme plastic surgery procedures, and bleach his skin in an effort to look white.

It just ain’t fair, I tells ya!
 

winbypin

Well-known member
Should have clarified, it wasn't until the Billie Jean video in 1983 that this happened. MTV was almost 2 years old at that time and had 0 black artists in heavy rotation. And that was only because the head of Jackson's label threatened to pull all of his artists' videos off MTV if they didn't play it

Videos back then were basically performances dubbed with the studio track. There were still big hits and they were played in heavy rotation on MTV. It wasn't until the Billie Jean video that a black artist was played consistently compared to their white counterparts
MTV was also basically rock genre at first too. That had something to do with it as well.
Yes, I remember what the videos were like when MTV started. Unlike you, I was alive then.
 

BlueJayFan

Well-known member
I mean you're the one who said there weren't catalogs of videos to play

And yeah, songs like Video Killed the Radio Star are rock classics
 

nutsnbolts

Well-known member
No, you're correct.

MTV started in August 1, 1981.

The first video by a Black entertainer was Jackson's Billie Jean on March 10, 1983.

That doesn't make it racist though. Like some radio stations, MTV's format was rock and roll, not rhythm and blues. It would change though.
1999, by Prince, was played on MTV in December, 1982.
 

Crusaders

Moderator
BET actually launched before MTV, but I believe did not actually have it's own network until the mid-80s, instead having a few hours of block time each week on what was then Madison Square Garden Network and is now USA Network.

MTV for most of the 80s was effectively a rock music video channel and was de facto white cultural transmission as rock was (and still is) an overwhelmingly white artist genre, before pivoting a bit throughout the 90s to other predominantly white trends such as pop music, boy bands, and the emergence of teenage/young adult reality television. For them, I'd probably argue the "peak" of that did not involve The Real World (which is what I think probably comes to mind for most people), but the various reality programs they had as Millenials were coming of age in the 2000s that were set in places like Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills, and along the Jersey Shore. Their target audience was and is white urban/suburban kids.

BET and the limited reach it had prior to the rise of digital cable in the early 2000s was just an alternative space for heavily black artist genres, whether hip hop, rap, blues, etc., along with airing re-runs of a handful of comedies with primarily black characters. CMT (country music) arose at roughly the same time, also filling a niche as what is predominantly rural white culture has never had a niche space on MTV.

MTV pivoted to hip hop and pop after grunge died.
 

Yappi

Go Buckeyes
What I remember about MTV in the early days is that it was trying to be cool. It comes off goofy now looking back at some of those early VJs but it looked like they were taking the popular radio formats like WMMS and putting them on a video station. Not sure how many black singers were on WMMS back then but it probably wasn't many. The different genres of music didn't have an enforced racial barrier, instead, it was organic based on cultural preference.

This seems like another attempt to take 2022 consciousness and apply it to history without context.
 

Steel Valley FB

Well-known member
Back to the drinking fountain signs…it’s good to see kids still hsve a sense of humor. I mean, that’s an instant classic!

Its not as funny as staging a fake lynching at 3AM in Chicago, but it’s still a good one.
 

Zunardo

Well-known member
Its not as funny as staging a fake lynching at 3AM in Chicago, but it’s still a good one.
Well-played. After reading the OP's link, first thing I thought of was the photos of KFC being pranked by someone changing the signboard "Serving whites only" or "Serving blacks only".

Having said that, I don't think that kind of humor goes over well in schools these days, even more so when it's thrown on SM. That stuff can follow the student pranksters through life in a bad way, whether or not it should. Word to the wise.
 

BlueJayFan

Well-known member
There weren't catalogs of videos available. That's a true statement.

And...so?
There were plenty, including Jackson's own videos for Rock With You and Don't Stop Till You Get Enough, the latter of which was massive. And yet MTV wouldn't play it 🤷‍♂️
 

nupanther

Well-known member
Why is the discussion focused on WET and BET?

Why isnt there a network for Asians? American teenage girls crave a channel for K-Pop. It's a massively undeserved market
I started the MTV/WET and BET comparison when Tesoro implied calling a network B(lack) ET was racist ( a claim I've heard multiple times before). I merely stated it was alternative programming to cater to black kids that felt underrepresented on MTV.
 

nupanther

Well-known member
Mtv started in 1981. Thriller came out in November, 1982. Artists and labels really weren't making any videos prior to 1981...so it's not like they had a huge catalog of videos to show from artists.
True, limited catalog for all musicians. However practically every young artist starting making videos during this phase due to the MTV explosion. Very few black acts still weren't featured despite this. There were other shows that weren't BET or MTV that showed videos by black artists. USA network showed an eclectic array of videos after hours on weekends. I recall a little start up cable network called SPN that have a half hour show that featured black artists.
My initial post doesn't accuse MTV of racism. It states that it's incorrect to call BET racist because the B stands for black.
 
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