Black women overperform in virtually every area of life that matters for
a thriving society: civic engagement, church, community, family,
business development, and political participation. Black women voters
played a decisive role in the 2020 presidential contest and the unprecedented statewide turnout in Georgia’s historic U.S. Senate
runoff that elected a Black and Jewish candidate, transforming a deep
south battleground state from red to bright blue. This is especially true
of Black women over 55. Their prowess extends far beyond partisan
politics. So why are these decisive Black women 55+ mostly missing from the nightly lineup of the influential primetime cable news programs?
Unerased| Black Women Speak posed that question to the Berkeley Media Studies Group to explore who’s at the primetime table of cable news – a largely watched window projecting who matters in the world of influence and power. The data showed a dearth of Black women of all ages, but especially 55 and older. They are virtually absent as hosts, contributors, guests and experts. The erasure cried out for a solution. In collaboration with the Black Women’s Roundtable National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, we present our PrimeTime 55+ Directory, celebrating Black women over the age of 55. These thought leaders and change agents affirm that Black women – not old but still in their prime – are worthy of showcasing.
Our new study Who’s At The PrimeTime Table: Race, Sex, Age Matter documents that the three major cable news networks have an abysmal track record of including Black women in their coveted primetime lineup. Older Black women are most erased from the picture. The Primetime 55+ directory is our best response. We showcase 55+ Black women experts and thought leaders versed in a range of sectors including politics, the economy, business, labor, the law, civil rights, public health, literature and the media.
Black Women’s Roundtable of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation is a nonprofit organization that works to engage, educate, organize and mobilize African Americans of all ages to participate in our democracy. Through educational programs and leadership training, the Coalition works to expand, strengthen, and empower Black communities to make voting and civic participation a cultural responsibility and tradition.
Berkeley Media Studies Group understands that the mass media, especially the news, have a significant influence on people’s beliefs and actions regarding public health and social issues. BMSG works with community groups, journalists, and public health professionals to use the power of the media to advance healthy public policy. We help people make their voices heard in a powerful public forum and increase their participation in the democratic process.