This week's special episode of "Black-ish" on ABC confronted the issue of police brutality and race in America. Lincoln A. Blades argues that "Black-ish" isn't The Cosby Show-- it's the show Black America needs now. Check out the clip and the op-ed below:
"Over the past year and a half, I’ve witnessed many writers, critics and ideologues state with disdain that Black-ish “isn’t the Cosby show” – and they’re all right.
Black-ish is not The Cosby Show – it’s the show that the black community needs right now.
And last night’s episode on police brutality, is undeniable proof.
Black-ish delivered an absolutely stunning, emotional, hilarious and insightful episode on state-sponsored violence and how we, black families, attempt to cope and deal with the issues that arise from it.
I’m still moved by how the show’s creators and writers tackled this topic – especially given the criticism (albeit unfair) the show received before it even premiered.
On one hand, white folks (and Stephen from Django Unchained type brothers) were opining that Kenya Barris’ creation was the embodiment of “reverse-racism” because it dared to feature a predominantly non-white cast.
But beyond that troubling attempt to frame blackness as being inherently anti-white – there were also attempts to base the show’s ultimate success or failure on whether it lived up to The Cosby Show.
While Barris’ admitted that he would be honoured to share the praise that Cosby Show and the Bernie Mac Show received, he was instead handed the challenge of outdoing the social impact Cliff and Claire had on the black community – an almost impossible task.
Before and after the premiere episode, think piece, after think piece, after think piece flooded the internet with declarations that this show simply could not live up to their lofty Cosby expectations. While I’ve always felt that sitcoms need many a couple episodes (hell, even a couple seasons) of scrutiny before one decides whether or not the program is trash, I do believe it’s fine to simply not like a show.
But, my problem with these complaints were that they were loaded with the ideology that Black-ish simply couldn’t present blackness with the same effectiveness that The Cosby Show did. The show didn’t fail on it’s own merits as much as it failed, in a couple episodes, to encapsulate the beautiful struggle of being black in America.
So when I first heard that Blackish was going to address police brutality, a topic I’ve been researching and reporting for over a decade, I instantly grew nervous. While I have faith in the show’s writers to deliver tear-inducing hilarity on thoughtful, nuanced subjects, admittedly there was a part of me that wondered if this topic was just too intense and temperamental for black folks to want portrayed in a situational comedy.
Unarmed, black men, women and children are being added to the list of “police-involved shootings” everyday, and the racial climate has reached a boiling point. And considering the oft-capricious nature of “Black Twitter,” I feared I would witness a great show get dragged online for attempting to lift subject matter far too heavy for them.
But alas, my fears weren’t just disproven – they were wrong as hell..."
Read more at: http://thegrio.com/2016/02/25/blackis...
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