Got Jengo TV?

By Guest Columnist Oct 22, 2007

by Beandrea Davis Jengo means “building strength” in Swahili and that’s what this queer Black-women owned media company is trying to do with its online digital network, JengoTV. Building is the operative word because Jengo TV – which features original programming in news and entertainment focusing on the queer people of color niche – is very much a work in progress with mixed results throughout. It’s most polished content is tnews and entertainment show Inside Blast which features interviews with entertainers from Russell Simmons to Goapele and behind-the-scenes footage of San Francisco Pride Events. I looked at the videos and remarked “oh yeah there were brown people at pride,” an event I’ve tended to skip because of its overwhelming whiteness. Other shows like Playing Spades and The Buzz could use some more glitz and less down home feel. The site promises more new content will be added before the end of the year. But even with what’s there now, it’s definitely worth a good surfing. I mean where else are queer people of color’s multi-dimensional stories and interests prioritized in the media? I have deep respect for the group of African American queer women, led by Jengo TV founder and filmmaker Debra A. Wilson, who are running this network. Rather than waiting for a place at the table within straight white world, they are creating their own outlets while helping make the communities of queer brown people across the nation more visible and connected. While I’m certainly holding out for programming that offers more quality and quantity, I enjoy discovering those all-too-uncommon places where doing something as ordinary as watching television feels like a subversive political act.