Did anyone watch the A Home for the Holidays special hosted by Celine Dion?
So what was it? According to USA Today, “Celine Dion hosts the 15th edition of this holiday special, which is designed to raise awareness about adoption and foster care. Stories about the families and children who have benefited from adoption are introduced by celebrities and accompanied by musical performances. Among those slated to perform are Ne-Yo, Chris Young and the extremely popular host.”
It’s difficult to be critical of things that are done for a good cause and the sponsor of this event, the Dave Thomas Foundation, is on the forefront of advocacy for children in foster care. But errumm….the event was a bit dry.
I watched because I kind of felt obligated but it definitely didn’t hold my attention. The stories of the adoptions were interesting and heartwarming. But then they would have a dry performance which brought the energy down. And the commercials. I’m sure it was required in order to pay for the airtime, but there was probably about 25 minutes of content and 35 minutes of commercials.
It feels bad to say this, but I probably wouldn’t watch it again.
But I think the idea is great. Get people interested in the music and slip in some education and highlight heart-warming, tear-inducing stories of how lives are touched through people who take the time to care for and adopt children in the foster care system. The old switcheroo. It’s a winning strategy if it wasn’t so daggone boring.
What would I watch? Since around 26% of the children in foster care are African-American, I think there is an opportunity for an organization to parter with the Dave Thomas Foundation, or any organization that has the influence, and created a targeted version for the African-American audience. Perhaps they already do something like this but if so, I haven’t seen it.
Where would it air? I think a major network would work just fine since when Black folks are organized, we can watch television in large numbers. Look at Scandal for proof. But if that didn’t fly, there is always BET, Aspire or OWN. Aspire might be a good option since Majic Johnson and his wife have previously adopted. You know what…we don’t even need a network. We could bust this out on Youtube or a Google Hangout if needed. The technology is there.
One thing they had going on is the timing because there is NOTHING on television right now with all the end of year breaks. On a Tuesday or a Wednesday? Everybody would watch it by default.
Special guest? The special guests would be Jill Scott, Mary Mary, John Legend, Tamela Mann, and Stevie Wonder. Why these folks? Because people would watch this concert regardless of what the cause. It would capture both the church folks and the secular people. Plus Stevie performs at everything so I know we could get him. That is not a read. #Facts.
Let’s see…the host. I might have to steal Tracy Ellis-Ross from Black Girls Rock because if she says that I should do something, I pretty much believe her. Should we have a guy? Nah. Oooh, ooh. Will and Jada Smith, right? They might cost too much but they are a good option. Maybe Rev. Run and Justine since they adopted.
The content would be a bit different. Vignettes showing a variety of families that were created though foster care would be shown that will make ovaries jump and men tear up. We would also highlight black folks (regular and celebrities) that are working with the foster care system. For instance, did you know that Ne-Yo started the Compound Foundation focusing on helping children who grew up in foster care and group homes. No? Me either. I’m not sure that was even mentioned on the special even though he was a featured guest.
All of that would be mixed in with some good sanging. Not singing. On our special, there would be sanging. Then we would have TD Jakes or someone in that flavor give a benediction and a plea for folks to go to the nearest CPS office and sign up. The last shot would be of Stevie Wonder singing a medley and then all of the rest of the guests would come out to join him in a jazzed up version of “Heal the World” or some other song like that. And after it went off, folks would still think about it. It would convict their spirit. Folks will feel compelled to act.
And we would call it…I have no idea. I dunno, I can’t think of everything.
What do you think – do we need a foster care/adoption special targeted at the African-American community? Is this happening already and I’ve been missing it? If so, how can I get a ticket.