In the light of Black Lives Matter: Black-ish

Arnojya Shree tells us about Black-ish, a sitcom that focuses on the every day struggles of the Black community

Arnojya Shree
14th June 2020

Black-ish (dir. Kenya Barris) is a sitcom that aired in 2014 and currently has 6 seasons. The series features the Johnsons, a black upper-middle-class family residing in Los Angeles. Three generations go about their lives, dealing with major and minor issues in an America favouring white supremacy. From the first few episodes, it becomes evidently clear to the viewers that Barris is not a director who deals with racial identities and politics from a surface level. Instead, his show includes overt socio-political commentary. The series is incredibly entertaining with laughs everywhere, which is expected in any family sitcom. But more importantly, it tackles the day to day effects of deep-rooted racism that is faced by the Black community.

Through its characters, the show includes open, honest and truthful discussion about racial discrimination

The Johnson family deals with things like long services in Black churches. The show touches on graver issues too, like discrimination, every-day oppression and police brutality. Since the show features young children, the elder generation teaches them about the struggles faced by the Black community by sharing their own experiences. Through its characters, the show includes open, honest and truthful discussion about racial discrimination and the difficulties which continue even after decades of fighting against white supremacy.

The show became a huge hit over the years, so much so that Barris came out with a spin-off called Grown-ish (2018). It features the adventures of Zoey Johnson as she goes off to college. Another show called Mixed-ish (2019) also came out, which features the childhood of Rainbow Johnson, the mother of the family. It highlights the issues she faced in a mixed-race family in 1980s America. The latest addition called BlackAF (2020) is a mockumentary which shares some ties with the entire franchise of Black-ish. Overall, Black-ish and its accompanying shows outline these very important and topical issues.

Featured image: IMDb

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