Have you noticed that blackÂ actors often get the roles of the most powerfulÂ characters (the person in charge) on many television shows, but the roles are typically “supporting” and not “starring?”Â FoxÂ Broadcasting Co.Â is good for this.Â TheÂ “Supervisory Special Agent in Charge” on the new show Standoff is a black woman,Â yet when the show is airing it’s all about the (white) people that report to her.Â The show Bones features a character named Dr. Camille Saroyan (sounds important right?), a black womanÂ who isÂ the new boss of one of the main characters, but you’d never even know she existed if you didn’t watch the show.Â A couple of seasons ago the darn President of the United States on the series 24 was black, but we didn’t see him much either because the star was and is Keifer Southerland.Â Black folk are most prominently featured on the Fox show COPS.Â Sad.Â I’m getting on Fox because I watch that network more than any other.Â Â As a consumer I’m feeling the need for the black characters to stop being the voice of reason and the support systems for the whiteÂ characters and become stars themselves.
I said all that just to say that this morning when IÂ was watching channel Thirteen with my son (a big part of our Sunday morning ritual), something unexpected happened.Â We wereÂ enjoying an episode of Thomas and FriendsÂ thatÂ I had never seen before,Â when Sir Topham HattÂ suddenly became distressed because the mayor of Sodor was coming to hang out with him and he wasÂ running late.Â Come to find out theÂ mayorÂ was a black man!Â (For those of you that don’t know, Sodor is not very diverse when it comes to race or gender.)Â I said to my son “hey, look the mayor is black.”Â Â Â My son giggled atÂ my declaration. Â I’m not sure why.Â Probably because we’ll never see him again.