There’s a new tv show coming this fall: BLACK-ISH! It features Anthony Anderson, (Guys with Kids), Tracee Ellis-Ross (Joan from “Girlfriends” from back in the day), and Lawrence Fishburne (Morpheus from The Matrix).
Blackish is a tv show about an upper middle class black family, 2 parents, 4 kids and grand-dad and what it means for them to be black. The struggle exists between the dad who wants his kids to be grounded in his version black culture while the kids’ day-to-day experience is white. I think the show may remind us, just a bit, of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
I also think the show opens up a larger discussion about what it means to be black. If you’ve ever been told that you’re not black, black enough, or even ghetto, you know that “blackness” has a box. Whether it is the music you like or some of the foods you eat, if lots of black people aren’t into it or are thought not to be into it, you may be asked to explain why you like it or be teased about spending too much time with white folks.
I hope the show will find a way to maintain its comedic edge (check out this trailer: it seems rather funny), while creating opportunities to talk about some serious issues relative to the parameters of blackness. I can be black and listen to Cold Play. Likewise, blackness is not limited to and should not portrayed primarily in terms of activities that are a function of poverty and social ills, which is usually the underlying sentiment for “ghetto” jokes.
The one thing this show will not lack is controversy. There are bound to be countless people who will be offended by the concept of the show. Some will say that it adds to the negative images of black people while others will say its down right insulting, particularly because of its humorous slant (ask Tyler Perry about how much controversy he gets from Madea).
Will you tune in?