ASPiRE is the cable network brainchild of Chairman and CEO Earvin “Magic” Johnson. At first its programming appeared to be a bevy a reruns of so-called Black/African American shows that broke barriers such as Julia (with Dihann Carroll) I Spy (with Bill Cosby) and The Flip Wilson Show (with comedian Flip Wilson) who portrayed professionals beyond maids and butlers. In essence, it seemed less entertaining than the progenitor of Black-owned cable stations Black Entertainment Television (BET). Yet within a year’s time ASPiRE and their commercials highlighting the achievements of so-called Black/African Americans in education, the arts, entrepreneurship and entertainment has grown on us; and I we are looking forward to more.
Celebrating their first year on the air, a new original series entitled “Exhale” features a “View”-like panel of Black women from various walks of life discussing love, relationships and other topics near and dear to its audience. Groundbreaking Documentaries of luminaries that have been broadcast on public television, American Black Film Festival Independent shorts, as well a The Scroll, The Root 100, and a plethora more, ASPiRE has distinguished itself as a cable station worth tuning into. There’s an intelligence, a refreshing air of dignity that has graced ASPiRE that we haven’t seen in a long time. I hope this continues way into year 20 and beyond.
Happy Anniversary! We should all ASPiRE to quality programming like this…