An Open Letter to Fans of the TV Show Black-ish

Subject: An Open Letter to Fans of the TV Show Black-ish
From: Esmeralda
Date: 10 Mar 2021

For most sitcoms that are shown in today’s age many just serve the purpose of entertaining. I came across this show a couple of years ago, and I enjoyed it not just because of the comedy but also because of the subtle truths that are taught in this show. Black-ish portrays how it is to live in the United States as a black individual. This portrayal mainly focuses on Andre and Rainbow’s current socioeconomic problems, but also from time to time we get to see Andre’s socioeconomic situation as a child giving the viewers two very different portrayals of living while black in America.

I found the information presented to me in this show very interesting because none of this is taught in schools. For a time, I was skeptical if this show was telling the truth, worried that maybe the information is skewed to tell a more interesting story. I recently had to write a Quest essay for my English class and chose the topic mass incarceration, and because of that I now can say although the topics could go into more detail, this show is very educational and speaks the truth. Also, by me stating that the topics could go into more detail, this is not a negative because if there were more details added many viewers would more likely lose interest in this show, so the balance between comedy and reality is perfect.

While doing my paper, Black-ish came to my head twice. The first time was when I was writing about an ex-convict’s readjustment to life after prison. Many times, the ex-convict feels shame and is barred from applying for jobs while many people who used to know ex-convicts treat them differently. This explanation almost immediately reminds me of Season 4-Episode 7, when Omar gets out of prison. While Andre is happy to help Omar with his adjustment back into society, Rainbow prefers that they do not associate with him. The second time was while writing about how black parents adjust to the over policing of their children. In Season 2-Episode 16 Rainbow was trying to conceal the harsh realities of police brutalities from her two youngest children while everyone else felt the twins needed to know as soon as possible. Later in the episode, Rainbow and Ruby tell the twins how to act when a policeman stops them. Although the parenting varies from person to person many of the articles I based my research on had similar situations and solutions.

What I want to know is how do all of you feel about this show? Do you believe this show is making a difference in the United States? I would like to imagine that the cast chose to act in this show partly because they believed that the show’s power to reach a wider audience would help educate the masses about stuff that affects the cast on a personal level. With all that being said I would like to end with saying that I hope this show continues to create great entertainment that serves multiple purposes.

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo