Good TV: Black-ish

Here we have a wealthy black family living in Los Angeles, California in “post racial” America.

There is the father; Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson), the wife and mother; Rainbow Johnson (Traci Ellis Ross), Dre’s father; Pops (Laurence Fishburne); and their 4 kids; Zoey, Andre Johnson Jr., Jack, and Diane.

The fresh new comedy Black-ish which aired September 24, 2014, is one of a kind.

Many compare and contrast it to The Cosby Show because of its rare depiction on mainstream television of a wealthy 2 parent African-American home (with one parent being a doctor). Some may also compare it to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air for similar reasons.

Yes, like The Cosby ShowBlack-ish takes on family oriented issues in comedic way. Yes, like TheFresh Prince of Bel-Air it takes on family issues as well and being a black man living in a wealthy majority white community. But, although there are these similarities, Black-ish is in its own category.

Black-ish focuses on how “post racial” America isn’t really “post racial”. There are still very many racial issues people of color face on a daily basis.

Especially when you are an African-American and majority of your work place is white. The things Dre encounters at his advertising office is something a lot of people can relate to, such as the prejudice co-worker that has the nerve to ask questions like, “how would a black guy say good morning?”.

But, not only does Dre deal with race in the workplace but at home as well. In the first episode Dre struggles with his son, Andre Jr. being too much like his white peers. Instead of throwing Andre Jr. a bar mitzvah which he asked for, he attempted to throw him an African tribal coming of age ceremony to teach Andre Jr. of his ancestry. In every episode, Dre tries to make his children less like their privileged selves, while Bow thinks they’re  fine the way they are.

A show like Black-ish is needed in today’s world, especially with the injustices that have been brought upon African-Americans recently. Black-ish gives laughter to our reality. As hard as it can be being black in America, there is a way we can smile through it all.

Lets hope it can stick around.

(originally November 30, 2014)

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