Last night’s episode of Blackish was by far my favorite one in the series. Now, for those who do not watch this show under the impression that it’s too silly or goofy and not black enough, I urge you to put your preconceived notions aside. Last night Blackish tackled police brutality in the most honest way possible through the lens of a sitcom.
The episode’s main premise questioned the right time to have the talk with our young children about the history in America of the mal treatment and tragedies involving Black people interacting with the police. The show opened with news of a fictional story about a black boy who was tazed 37 times by the police and the rioting that ensued after there was no indictment for the police officer involved.
As the news unfolded, the different characters had their own perspectives of the issues involving police brutality. Without completely spoiling it, I will say that the show did a great job of explaining the different perspectives as they referenced what was referred to as the “charcoal grey” areas of the justice system. What I admired most about the episode was the way that the dialogue was not diluted, filtered or apologetic. The dialogue hit on the very real and enormous emotions surrounding this topic; the struggle between the parents on whether or not to tell their children the truth about what is going on, the struggle in agreeing on what the appropriate reaction is when this reoccurring incident happens, the way the victims are vilified in the news, and the struggle in accepting whether or not America has actually changed.
The most impactful scene for me was when Andre (Anthony Anderson) was having the conversation with his wife Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) about the hope that President Barrack Obama’s election restored in Black people. In this conversation Andre detailed the paranoid and terrifying feeling that he had during the President’s inauguration. That scene brought me to tears. I had that EXACT feeling during Obama’s first term. I thought I was just being overly suspicious because I was genuinely concerned about his safety, but clearly I wasn’t the only one with that feeling. That is the reality that black people face; feeling encouraged and inspired to fearful and paranoid of simply our existence in this Country.
Being that Blackish is a comedic sitcom, I honestly did not know what to expect from this episode, but I am very impressed. This episode was executed perfectly. So thank you for brining this relevant and necessary conversation to the show, keeping it all the way BLACKi̶s̶h̶.