Dear BBC: Chicago Doesn’t Need Another Documentary. We Need Solutions.

Yesterday BBC released a mini documentary entitled “The Lost Streets of Chicago” and as a citizen born and raised in the Windy City, I’m highly offended.

In 2014 Noisey launched a 8-part documentary entitled “Welcome to Chiraq”. Hosted by Thomas Morton (writer and contributing editor to Vice magazine), I faithfully watched every episode searching for hope. I found none. They simply stated the heartbreaking statistics of those who have lost their lives to gun violence and highlighted the broken areas in the city I call home. Let’s pause right here for a moment:

It’s unfair to judge a book by it’s cover, or this case a city by what media feeds you. This reminds me of the first time I went to Zambia. For years I believed African countries didn’t have houses, running water, cars, etc. The more I say, the more embarrassed I become about how naive I was. It wasn’t until I actually spent time in Africa and was able to see for myself the Africa that the media fails to show. It would have been ignorant on my part to only share pictures of huts, water wells, etc. A true story shares the entire truth, but I digress.

I didn’t understand the purpose of Noisey’s “Welcome to Chiraq” series. It left me confused. When Spike Lee released “Chiraq” in 2015 against the will of Chicagoans, my confusion had evolved into understanding. As a writer who understands the importance of trending topics, Spike Lee wanted in on the on-going conversation of violence in Chicago. It hurts to say this, but Lee profited from our pain. I’m still waiting on a formal apology.

And here we are. 2016. BBC released a mini documentary entitled “The Lost Streets of Chicago”, because clearly we need ANOTHER story to tell us and the world what we already know about our city.

Newsflash, we don’t need another documentary. We need solutions. Stop using our pain for your storyline and entertainment. Help us solve these issues that continue to plague our beloved city or leave us alone.

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Tanikia Carpenter

Tanikia is a lifestyle writer & blogger from Chicago. Her work has been featured on the TLC network, ESSENCE, and Huff Post LIVE, just to name a few. Tanikia is a regular contributor to Black & Married With Kids and the columnist of JET Magazine's "Giving You the Gospel". She is also the author of "When God Said Yes" & "The 30 Day Man Fast".