The late 50s introduced a new television show named The Naked City. It was a street life drama based in New York City. The story line was gritty, raw, a police type drama. The program each week began with its music theme and the voice explaining there were 8 million stories in the Naked City. The show ran from 1958-1963. It was a serious show with a realistic tone that displayed street life as dangerous, grimey and unforgiving. I wonder how many stories are there in the Third City? Understand, the Third City is complicated, complex and more than a city. It is that part of life in communities around the globe treated poorly.
Today, the Naked City is about the Third City. The transformation from The Naked City into Third City is evolutionary. The third city is that place where Mainstream society historically ignored the third city… its very existence. Those living in the barrios, ghettos and rural farm communities fight to exist. Many stories are being told daily. Many are never heard by the public at large. There are many cities even beyond America. Mumbai, Cairo, Johannesburg, Hong Kong… Indeed. The Naked CIty had 8 Million stories…Well, the third city has is not limited to New York City, hardly. Cleveland, Chicago, Cincinnati, St.Louis, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit are urban colonies filled with multicultural populations. Class, gender, politics, poverty, crime and sensitive socioeconomics. How many stories in 2020 does the third city have? Educator Janice Rowley explained the challenge of accounting stories, communications in the social network of this new century.
“I find it disturbing that students in their classrooms can not cease to communicate with their phones. It is the prime focus of most people today to communicate with the technology. Stories? Who knows? This I know young people are very active in their own lives, stories around the clock. Educators are competing with this new form of self absorbing stories, tales, and more.”
To the surprise of many in society the third city is multicultural. The expression of discontent with government is not a monolithic experience. The third city is a third nation. The invisible social status within the cast system in America is not simply about equal billing. Those in rural America do not see themselves as third city denizens. The resentment against the government is confused by the divide along religious, racial, gender and political lines. Poverty, is global, the original third world knows poverty well. Those stories are nucleus in protest for a piece of the alleged American Dream. A sense of nationalism plays into those political voices that plays the divisive methods here and abroad. Oral historical accounts are not simply antidotal stories. In the 50s the Naked City showed America life in urban America. It was a television excursion into Brooklyn, Queens, Harlem, Bronx and a small window into the prestigious Manhattan. The media gave America a ringside seat into working class America. Professional class was parallel but not equally. The Naked City gave stories, tales, and myths of how people lived. It told America who was who. The Manhattan elitism displayed Broadway plays, was epicenter for publishing newspapers, magazines, television and radio shows for the first class citizens. Third City tells us about second class citizens, third class explains about those third class denizens. Third class existence shares both underground and underworld environments. The American social ecosystems cast capitalism as the regulator of the citizens, non-citizens and anti-citizens.
The third city explains, defines the cowboys, outlaws, gangsters, criminal families and brigands culture. Counterculture? Many questions, many cultural answers that put an embarrassing factor of controversy for many institutions including political and religious. I am an envoy of the cultural exchange. As a social scientist I have observed a great deal. Yet, the mythical “objectivity” eludes me. Seriously, how can I truly be objective of this America portrayal of which I am part of that picture I am supposed to be objective while I am in the very picture I am critiquing? Subjective? It reminds me of the film Harriet (Harriet Tubman). Tubman told a group of abolitionist that her slave experience allowed her a real understanding of what the challenge held as it related to freeing slaves. Amen. As the New Year is upon us, our continuation of critical issues will hopefully help? Keep it rolling, stay safe.