Okay, I’m not going to rehash the entire “Real House Wives of Atlanta” episode as Brande Victorian did an excellent job highlighting all the key points of frustration and flat out foolishness yesterday. But I do want to talk about how ill at ease I feel about Porsha Stewart, granddaughter of Civil Rights icon Hosea Williams, jumping into the frays of ratchetness on the latest season of RHOA.
Personally, it has always been disheartening to see the children and grandchildren of famed and noted historical figures, particularly the off-spring of black human rights activists and icons, go in such an opposite direction of their family’s legacy. For me, Hosea Williams’ legacy was not embedded in the who’s who in the pecking order of the black social elite. He was a minister, a politician and an activist. And when I think of his legacy, I think of the man, who was a trusted member of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s inner circle. And after the assassination of Dr. King, Williams continued his own mission of advocating for the homeless and the hungry. However, thanks to Ms. Stewart, his legacy has also been tainted with the shenanigans and pure foolishness, which is reality television.
I know that the children of human rights activist shouldn’t be expected to walk directly in their ancestor’s footsteps. However there is something very jaded and pessimistic about watching the granddaughter of a man, who advocated for the homeless and hungry, blunder over knowing that we are in a “recession,” bragging about the privilege of never having to earn a living, and having her NFL husband flaunt her Chanel cake and bag at a charity event, which was supposed to be for the homeless and hungry. I know it may not seem fair but watching children of human rights activists embrace the materialistic and somewhat superficial aspects of our society’s culture, makes you question the virtues of their family’s legacy. I mean, there are people in this world, particularly in the black community, who are still suffering. And if the message of that icon was so empowering and relevant, why aren’t the keepers to the message, the children and grandchildren, abiding by it?
Likewise, you do have to wonder about the motivations of anyone, who knowingly throws themselves into the limelight of reality television, especially a reality television show with a reputation as dubious as the Real Housewives franchise. Last week’s episode definitely gave me cause to ponder if her appearance on the show is to raise the status of the plight of the homeless and hungry, as Stewart’s bio suggests, or is it to raise her own profile as a socialite and/or a brand? Also according to her bio, in addition to being a new wife and mother who’s into yoga, afternoon dips in her pool and of course charity work, Stewart is also nurturing a “budding music career.” It’s probably safe to say that fame is as much of a factor as any commitment to social responsibility.
That’s not to say that Stewart’s philanthropy does not have a social conscious. Any money raised at that evening at the fundraiser, including that $250,000 check her husband cut at the charity event, will go a long way in funding lots of nonprofits, particularly the ones on the ground doing the grass root work. However she should be re-evaluating whether having her life documented for reality television, thus under the constant public scrutiny, is the best way to advocate, represent and establish longevity for the cause. Perhaps she should do less talking about her family’s name and action and focus on her own personal ambitions of singing – if not for the charity, at least for the legacy.