Black-ish Showed the Reality of Black Families and A Sneak Peek Into My Future
I watched the latest episode of Black-ish with my beautiful 3-year-old little king sitting next to me. I watch these shows with him, even though I know he doesn’t fully comprehend what is going on. I just want to get him used to watching quality television with mommy. Police brutality has become a redundant topic because every time we go on social media or look at the news, there it is. Different case, same scenario, same unjustified outcome. We all remember the meme that was going around after the verdict was given for the Trayvon Martin case. The title of this episode reminded me of that photo that I have labeled, “The Talk.”
This episode was a perfect example of the talk that Black and Latino parents will have to inevitably have with their children. It was also a reminder to me of the talk I will have to eventually have with my boy. It saddened and enraged me at the same time. This is a talk that I hate that I MUST have with my son, while other races don’t have to worry about discussing police brutality issues. What I loved about this episode was the contrast they portrayed with the two types of parents.
The straight talk no chaser parent: Anthony Anderson’s character was the realistic parent who didn’t believe in sugarcoating the truth from his children. He understood that hiding reality from his children would do more harm than good in the long run. Having Black children who are unaware of the world that they live in will only set them up for a rude, life altering awakening later. It could even lead to a fatal encounter because they had no idea that the justice system was not built for them.
The safe parent: Tracee Ellis Ross represented the parents I can’t stand, yet I understand where they are coming from. They want to protect their children from the horrors of this world, and the racism they will eventually face for as long as possible. They want them to remain safe and untainted because it is true that ignorance is bliss. Think about how carefree you were before you woke up to the bullshit about this country. It is a beautiful thing. Honestly, I stare at my son often and get sad knowing that one day his innocence about this world will be stripped away. I look at how trusting he is and the twinkle in his eye. It breaks my heart to know I will have to be the one to dim that light by having, “The Talk.”
The most significant thing about this episode was the end. The family saying that they would all go out and protest together was an awesome showing of solidarity. It reminded me of my favorite image of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee out protesting with their young children. It shows that we are all in this together. We have to be an example to our children to not just talk about change, but be part of the change. Being proactive is more effective than spending night after night just talking. I almost threw something at the television when they all got up to go and protest because I got so hype. I wish that more families would do the same.
I seriously hope this show doesn’t get taken off the air for making such a powerful statement on primetime television. But if they do, phuck it. Better to go out standing than on your knees.