Stay tuned for 5 Reasons Blackish is Better than Empire …
A few months ago, I watched this video from Dr. Boyce Watkins talking about why Empire is Pure Coonery. I hope that you as the reader are coming here with an understanding of what Cooning is. I have no plans to explain that here – however if you do want to know what it is; the show Empire nails it.
In spite of the show being what it is, and in spite of what Dr. Boyce and so many educated black people said about this show – it was a Huge Success. There was even an article about how the ratings for Fox dropped after Empire had it’s season finale. Every single week on social media my timeline was full of, Go Cookie, Lucious you ain’t about nothin, Jamaal!! ….
It’s as if the black community was all the way pulled in – meanwhile – there’s Blackish.
There was some resistance to the show when it was about to air. So many people were unsure if we ‘needed’ a television show that explores the life of a Successful Black Family – where the Father is a successful advertising executive; and the mother is a successful Doctor. In a land that has a history of portraying black people as Criminals, Thugs, and successful only if they caused harm to the community – why would we need a show that was different?
Blackish forces America to look at the version of the black family that They do not believe exists.
Let’s go; 5 reasons why Blackish is Better than Empire —
1. Black Success is not always Illegal
There is a constant theme in media produced by non-black owned outlets, which portrays successful black people as criminals. Could that be on Purpose? Why is it that after so many years of doing it, it seems to still be happening? A question I hate to ask – why are black people still Unaware of what is happening – that we are being suggestively told to break the law if We want to succeed.
Blackish is Better than Empire because it’s showing us two black people who’ve found success without breaking the law. What a novel idea right? Not only is it showing One successful black family who didn’t break the law to succeed. There are black people who work with the main characters (Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross). In fact In the 16 episodes I’ve watched so far, I have not met the criminals that Dre grew up with. I have not seen the hood he escaped from.
We do see his dysfunctional Parents, played by Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis – played brilliantly I should add – but what we do not see is their dysfunction passing down to their son. So we’re talking about a television show, that is very rare in American Media. Dre is an example of a son who attempts to learn from his fathers missteps, while carrying on his successes!
2. The Cosby Show Was the Last Positive Black Family On Television
Blackish is Better than Empire because while we’ve rarely had ANY black family tv shows on since The Cosby show went off; it’s great to have a family that isn’t just a bunch of … coons. (like we see in all Tyler Perry tv. shows) – It makes one wonder, just why are so many negative stereotypes of black people on television for? Sure there are negative elements in the black community but, it’s actually not the norm. It occurs in pockets, and is especially high in areas of extreme poverty; but rather than make television shows about addressing the issues of these poor communities…
Television shows and movies are constantly made about how there is no escape from the hood. Hope filled shows featuring black families just have not been on the air for decades now. With the dragging of Bill Cosby’s name through the mud, due to all the recent and crazy allegations, it’s almost as if there is an effort to make sure we never look back on that time again. The society does not want Bill Cosby to be America’s Dad, when we reflect on television history. All the more reason black people needed another show as back up!
3. Funny with a Real Message – in Every show
Another reason Blackish is better than Empire comes down to this point right here – There is a real message in every show. Messages are the things that are missing from all those other black television shows, which also have a message. It’s the message that I just mentioned a few moments ago – there is No hope.
Blackish makes you hope …
We need that. (How they turned Hope into Emmy Nominations)
4. Nevermind #RaceTogether – Blackish is Having The Conversation
With the scenes mixing in the white friends, the white co-workers, and the interactions between races – which do at times get awkward – we see the effort that Starbucks attempted to get us into; Talking to one another. Realizing that we’re more alike than different actually is a great way to bring people together; without having fear of where we differ.
One show was about the renewing of wedding vows. “Bo” (Tracee Ellis Ross) is surprised when her parents show up. We find out her father is white, and her mother is a light skinned black woman who didn’t want her daughter to marry a black man. what an interesting Dynamic that is relevant to our American society. There was a great message in that episode – and you’ll need to watch the show to get it (not giving it away here). Then I watched another show about the Son being bullied at school. His father taught him (an old tradition in the black community) – the dozens. Another great message about standing up for yourself, and finding creative and yet, non-violent ways to deal with the issues we face.
I think that, if anything truly sums up Black people in America.
For centuries now, black people have been searching for non-violent ways to change this American system – to eliminate the obstacles we face in this nation. It’s the kinda stuff we should’ve been talking about over Coffee – but didn’t; because we’re still very much, A nation of Cowards. We have more television shows about homosexuals – and shows expressing the Kick-Ass power of Women to be Leaders – than we have shows with Interracial dating. (not suggesting in any way that television doesn’t also need those roles; just that they’ve really got those more than covered) Blackish has addressed how people are reacting to these ongoing conversations as well.
In fact, One of the shows is all about the Oldest Daughter Zoey, dating a white guy from France.
When’s the last time we’ve seen a White television show deal with the white daughter dating a black guy?? (usually those roles are reversed; they’ll show us a black woman sleeping with a white man; but the idea of a black man with a white woman is still, largely taboo)
The Nation of Cowards indeed …
5. It’s A More Realistic Depiction of The Black Family
Peaceful Solutions, Frank Conversation, Interracial Dating, Diversity, and so much of what you’ll find in Blackish, has absolutely everything to do with The real black family in America. Black people are not a monolith and reality is rarely seen on television or films.
Let the white owned media outlets tell it, and you’d think every single black man or woman on earth is in a gang. You’d think everyone is dealing drugs, and living in war zones. (which is what you see on Empire) For this very reason alone, several non-black people in America believe any city that is primarily black, is also dangerous.
It’s so far from the truth about who black people are – and what the black family is.
Again, as mentioned there are issues in the black community but you’ll find many of the same issues in every ethnic community in our country. Blackish forces America to look at the version of the black family that They do not believe exists. Possibly, the black family several people in America do not want to exist. It’s too bad my timeline is not crawling with Blackish Spoilers every week, like it was when Empire was on.
That means there’s a good chance people are Not tuning in. (*updated 5/2/17 – lots of people have been tuned in!)
Perhaps Americans have gotten so use to the negative depiction of black people, that they don’t want to see anything else?
If that is the case, that’s a sad commentary on Americans – and who We have become.
I’m going to leave you with a bonus reason to watch Blackish instead of Empire; via another video from Dr. Boyce, and guest Dr. Nomalanga discussing the Use of Propaganda. They are directly speaking about the show Empire and going over what they dislike. We should take note, and be thankful shows like Blackish are being made. (also interesting comments on Don aka Tom Lemon)
Bonus Reason – The All star Cast Has Chemistry
Blackish has everything a GOOD Television show needs to have. It’s funny, the writing is excellent, the jokes are timed well – and the chemistry of the Cast absolutely shines through. Dre and Bo are a beautiful couple. It’s great to see black love, contrasted with the nonsense Empire showed us. The kids are even hilarious on the show. Each one players their role to a tee – the Grandparents chime in, and I’m glad they are not on every single show. They do a good job of bringing them in every other show, or every other, other, other show.
The cast, does a wonderful job of actually addressing the situations that so many black people are finding themselves in; living, loving, and working alongside others in America, who have come to hold certain views about our people, that aren’t always true. It’s an excellent show that I hope starts to get more attention, now that the other show is off the air for a year.