Not all blacks on TV are role models

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The Independent Online
Sir: With regard to James Fenton's article on the former Gladiator Shadow ("The bad news for black role models", 6 February), contrary to popular (white) belief, black people do not automatically idolise every black face we see on the television. We are quite capable of distinguishing those we choose to admire, and those who leave us feeling indifferent.

Black people have had enough of being patted on the head and told the whys and wherefores of our reasoning and actions. We are not a mass of homogeneity! Messrs Fenton et al should note that we are individuals with separate cultures, ideals and perspectives, with much the same similarity as the harmonious Europeans in Brussels.

Shadow's departure is a disappointment to his fans, the vast majority of whom are children, black and white, from single and "both" parent families, who watch the show. This thus justifies his apology to them.

Yours sincerely,

P. A. Biney

University of Bristol