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DECLARATION!! "Black-ish" is a Hit!
The Time Has Come!
Last night was the night! The ABC season premier of Black-ish hit the masses with 10.8 million viewers, retaining nearly all of Modern Family's 10.9 million!!! There were many laughs and much love but, most importantly, a lot of “black-ish” points were being made; like choosing to work for a white-owned business verses a black-owned business (more money), like a black family being a rare commodity in the suburbs (even when it’s really not) and how if you’re black, you know OJ didn’t do it (that made me laugh out loud even though I personally do not have a opinion either way). The show opener was hilarious and the actors did amazing, especially the kids. Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin all stood out in their own ways and each had the opportunity to make you chuckle. Overall, I think this is a pretty solid cast.
What is "Black-ish?"
When I first saw the trailer for this show, I immediately knew I had to watch. After sharing my first article, wanting to bring attention to the show, I received many different responses on why and why not people were choosing to watch the show. I respected their opinions but laughed at most of them. I simply tweeted that “Black-ish” was an inside joke; only certain people would get it and I definitely got it.
Raised in the suburbs of South Georgia, my family was the first black family to move into the developing neighborhood (this was 1995 by the way). We woke up with “KKK’ sprayed on our driveway. I went to predominately white schools (not because we attended private schools but because that was majority of the population). I was the black girl who, by her own race, was called “white girl” and repeatedly reminded that I was not like my other black classmates because I spoke proper grammar, I didn't immediately "pop off" when someone "tried" me and because I didn’t know how to dance (I eventually learned to twerk). “Don’t say ‘git,’ Melody! Say ‘get.” my mother would say. So, I definitely understood what the term “black-ish” meant as soon as I heard it. You’re black…but not black enough (whatever that means).
The title “Black-ish” definitely did its job. Many people were now talking and inquiring about this new show with the controversial title. A lot of people were thrown back by the title and didn’t understand why “Black-ish” couldn’t have been named something else. Someone tweeted me and asked, “Why can’t suburban culture also be black culture? The title gives the impression that full black culture isn’t good.” I instantly knew that, again, someone else didn’t get the gist of the show. On the opposing side, I received another tweet that said, “I actually love the title, given the context of the show. That “ish” is true for many cultures.” I smiled. She got it. Looking at her picture, I recognized she was a white female and it reminded me that I also had white friends who were considered to be “wiggas” cause, I guess, they weren’t white enough; they was white-ish.
Speaking of white-ish, I have to address this topic of “reverse-racism.” First of all, what the hell is “REVERSE-racism?” To imply that something is reversed means, “to swap” or “turn back.” We all have played UNO so reverse is easy to understand. Racism is just pure racism. For some odd reason, when there is a show called “Black-ish” or “Black Girls Rock,” there are many who suggest this is “reverse-racism.” I saw a tweet that said “How rude! They [black people] would be up in arms if we had a show called “white-ish.” This is one of those tweets that made me laugh. In my first article about Black-ish, I mentioned how Kerry Washington is the first black woman to have a leading role on network television in almost 40 years. Now, when you look at your television, it is already White. Leading actors and actresses are white. Most of our [people who watch television and movies] favorite shows have predominately white casts, so it would make no sense to make a show about an all white family and call it “white-ish;” it already exists (Leave it Beaver, Parenthood, etc).
Did You Like the Season Premier of Blackish?
Diversity in Media
I am not saying that all white people are racist. I am not saying that all white people in the entertainment industry are racist. What I am saying is that there is a point of view in our entertainment field that is predominantly Caucasian. The new film “Exodus,” currently in production, is telling an Egyptian and Biblical story but the actors portraying this African history are all Caucasian. Here in America, it is nothing new for us to know that our suburbs (and our entire country) are very diverse and they house Caucasian, Afro-American, Indian, Latino and Asian families but, unfortunately, this diversity is not seen on the small screen. Each culture may have one show that gets to represent them but for some reason there can’t be more than one “George Lopez Show” or more than one “The Mindy Project” (unfortunately, a show representing an Asian family slips my mind).
If America is truly the land of the free, if we truly are the melting pot and we’re spending billions of dollars to house immigrants from all over the world, then how come our entertainment and our media doesn’t show the world just how wonderfully diverse this country really is? Hashtag: I’m just saying.
Congrats to ABC, the executives, writers and actors of “Black-ish” on getting this show on the air and I hope they continue to shine light on the fact that it is okay to be who you are even when you’re considered the minority.