MonthSeptember 2014

My Black-ish Experience with ABC’s New Show

My plan was to post my reaction to “Black-ish” the night of its premier…and then life happened. But here I am ready to share! 😀

photo 1What initially put this TV series on my radar was the controversy surrounding its title. Some thought it was clever, others were offended. But only those who have experienced the burden of constant code switching would understand this title and appreciate this series. After watching the preview and twatching black twitter for a few weeks, my anticipation for “Black-ish” was almost too much to bear once Sept. 24th rolled around.

blackish

Right off the bat, I connected with “Black-ish,” especially its comments on the black experience in corporate America. Andre, played by Anthony Anderson, is a black man working in an advertising agency. And although he isn’t the only black guy at the agency, the show makes it a point to show how often times lower management is diverse, upper management not so much. When this point was made, I immediately flashed back to the time I was applying to a diversity fellowship at a PR agency last spring. Although there was an emphasis on increasing diversity at the company I was applying to, upper management did not reflect this effort.

Flash back to Black-ish. Andre is promoted to senior vice president (SVP) of the urban division at his agency, but Andre isn’t happy. He feels he is chosen as urban division SVP simply because he is black. Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays Andre’s wife, attempts to rationalize with Andre, saying he would be mad if they chose a white person instead. I found this scene to be extremely relatable. As a black student at a predominately white institution (PWI), I often encountered the argument that I did not get into UNC on my own merits, but because I met the school’s minority quota. And in the corporate world, I question am I here because of my work or because of my skin color…or both?

The last point about the black experience in corporate America that stood out to me in the “Black-ish” pilot was choosing to work at a white-owned company vs. a black-owned company. Andre chose to work at a white-owned company because it paid more even though he could have climbed the corporate ladder quicker at a black owned company.

bnt logo Currently, I work at a black-owned Ad Agency in Greensboro, NC called Black Network Television (BNT). I chose to work at BNT because I knew I would have the opportunity to wear a lot of hats and would be able to clearly see how my contributions were helping the company grow. I think the biggest difference for me when I make the move to white corporate America is going from blending in, to sticking out…way out.

Overall, the Black-ish pilot gets two thumbs up from me. I found the issues raised in “Black-ish” to be extremely relevant, and I can’t wait to watch the characters develop throughout the season. For all of those upset over the title, give the show a chance, and you will quickly discover the deeper meaning behind its seemingly shallow title.

My Top 10 Favorite Black TV Shows

*Don’t feel like reading? I’ll read it for you!  Just press play below.*

 

blackish-101I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’m super excited about ABC’s new television series “Black-ish,” premiering on Wednesday, September 24th at 9:30 p.m. According to latimes.com, “Black-ish” is the first major broadcast network comedy in almost a decade to revolve solely around a black family.  In honor of this new black  TV series, I decided to take a trip down memory lane and pick my top 10 favorite black TV shows.

10. Gullah Gullah Island

I can only think of one children’s TV show from my childhood that revolved around a black family, “Gullah Gullah Island”. I will never forget this show’s catchy tropical theme song and Binya Binya.

FAMILY MATTERS9. Family Matters

“Did I do that?” Yes Steve, you did that, and I will never forget the role you played in making “Family Matters” a staple show in black Ameican homes.

 

 

bernie-mac-show8. The Bernie Mac Show

Bernie gets a round of applause for taking in his drug-addicted sister’s kids and showing America the ropes when it comes to raising a family.

7. My Wife and Kids

my-wife-and-kids-cast-e4

Any show a Wayans brother is on is bound to have you laughing the whole show, and that’s exactly what Damon Wayans did on “My Wife and Kids”…  I wonder if Katie every let Franklin get any play? These are the unanswered questions from my childhood.

6. Everybody Hates Chriseverybody-hates-chris106

Most of the shows on my list featured middle class black families, but “Everybody Hates Chris” depicted the highs and lows of  a low income black family. The Rocks may not have had a lot, but they had each other.

5. Moesha

Moesha_castI loved Moesha! She was smart, sassy and ambitious. She wrote for the school newspaper, wrote in her diary religiously, and went to open mics at The Den! To see a black girl on television with aspirations and interests similar to mine was the coolest thing since… “All That”.

 

4. A Different World

diff world

“A Different World” made college look so cool! And who knew that I was Freddie Brooks in the making?

3. Fresh Prince of Bel Air

This show will be a classic (if it isn’t already), and by far, has the best intro.

2. The Proud Family

The Prouds star in ``The Proud Family'' Thursday on Family  Channel.My  favorite Disney Channel cartoon EVER! Penny made pigtails look cool, and Oscar taught us all the dangers of ashy ankles. Also, I have to commend the show on having a multicultural cast. Penny taught me it’s ok to mix outside your palette, and to keep your friends close and your enemies closer…LaCienega was always throwing shade.

1. The Cosby Showcosby

My all-time favorite black TV show is “The Cosby Show.” It was so cool to watch the Huxtable kids grow up and according to multiple strangers, my celebrity look-alike is Denise Huxtable.

 

igMy top 10 favorite black TV shows have made a lasting impact on my life in some way . Some bring back memories of me sitting in the living room with my family laughing, and others I connected with on a personal level. We’ll have to see if  “Black-ish” makes the cut 5 or 10 years from now.

But, enough about my favorite black TV shows. What are yours? Let me know, comment below!

 

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