Unless a big breaking story happens, “Nightline” is set to air a truncated version of its 2.5 hour town hall meeting in Decatur earlier this month on Wednesday, April 21 at 11:35 p.m.
More than 600 people crowded the Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Decatur on Friday, April 9. Several hundred more were forced into satellite rooms or simply got there too late to get in. Clearly, moderator Steve Harvey’s promotional pull showed. He talked about it on his radio show heard locally on Majic 107.5/97.5 that week.
And “The View’s” Sherri Shepherd flew from New York City to take part as well. Vicki Mabrey, the “Nightline” correspondent moderated with Harvey, along with participants Jacque Reid (”Let’s Talk About Pep”), actor Hill Harper (”CSI: NY”) and author Jimi Israel (”The Denzel Principle”).
The show revealed the misconceptions each gender has about the other. And the numbers are stacked against college-educated black women. The pool of comparable men is about half. Plus, many black women are unwilling to lower their standards while black men plead for more understanding.
I spoke last week with Shepherd about her experience. She originally didn’t want to do the panel because it was a topic that didn’t have any easy solutions. But she knew Harvey, Reid and Hill so she went along with it. She did have her nails out for Israel, who wrote a book she said bashes black women.
“I felt he kind of backed off once he was in a room full of black women and was held accountable for what he wrote,” said Shepherd, who clutched his book for much of the talk and picked at points he made in it. Indeed, Israel appeared to pull his punches.