'Chronicle,' Please Allow More Diversity

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 28, 2005

Dear Editor,
    I will attempt to keep this criticism as constructive as possible regarding your columnist Ms. Baumgarten and her review of what I thought was a great film [Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Film Listings, Feb. 25]. We are all entitled to our opinions, but there are times when culture brings about a huge difference in the ways we perceive things. I think that this is definitely one of these instances.
    I encourage your critics to not be so quick to dismiss future pictures with lines like "yet another black woman ... gets her groove back.” I am a black woman who never tires of seeing something that I can relate to and that is factual to my life. It's no different than people who enjoy movies that relate more to a specific audience and culture simply because they understand it better.
    I think the big picture here is understanding someone, something, or a way of life that is not like your own. Which in turn means most people who haven't gone through, witnessed, or even been around a broader spectrum of persons simply can't understand. I hate to say that Marjorie just doesn't get it, but she did make the comment that it targets urban black women (although I saw plenty of nonurban men and women alike enjoying and singing its praises). Maybe you would need to be an urban black woman or just a bit more up on what differences we all face to really get it.
    I have not lost faith in the Chronicle or in Austin for that matter, even though in what is supposed to be one of the most diversified and cultured cities in Texas, I see little to no interest in the black community. Just please, please (if you even care and want to keep and gain a wide variety of readers) allow a more diversified array of writers', columnists', and critics' views to grace the pages of your paper. Thank you for your time.
Beverly Barnes
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