The Black sitcom “Black-ish” is officially ending on April 19. On Saturday, April 9, the “Black-ish” cast met at the National Museum of African American History and Culture to say final goodbyes to their show that has been on air for eight years.
“Black-ish” was created to touch on and introduce issues that affect the Black community, such as colorism, racism, biracial upbringings and tackling the usage of the N-word. Long-time actor Jenifer Lewis shared her thoughts about the show’s content.
“The writers were the stars of ‘Black-ish.’ Every script I received, I laughed out loud. But the bravery of Kenya Barris, ABC and Disney, to speak to the issues and modern subject matters that we address on that show, I admire them all. Police brutality, inward depression, hope, Juneteenth, we made history. We earned this night,” Lewis said.
Kenya Barris, the creator of “Black-ish,” took just enough of a risk to make a difference. The sitcom was historical and influential because of the show’s period. It was created during the Obama administration, made America laugh during the pandemic and gave Black Americans dialogue post-pandemic and during times of racial tension.
Barris wanted to make sure that “Black-ish” addressed and reinterpreted the stereotypes that people portrayed of Black people in the media. Tracee Ellis Ross, who plays Rainbow, is not new to an all-Black cast, but she joined this cast due to the mission of Barris.
“My only focus was Rainbow. There were things that I would notice that they wouldn’t notice. For example, I would be like, why am I doing laundry? Can I have a computer? Those things, to me, make a big difference. And personally, whenever I look at a character I look at does this work for the scene? And does this work for my character? And then what does it look like in the context of television? So how are we seeing this Black woman on TV at this moment? And those are the unconscious things that change how we look at who we are,” Ross said.
The night began with a lit up black carpet, reflecting the show’s title. The cast walked the carpet with beautiful smiles and ended the event with a heartfelt panel reflecting on the past eight years of the show.
Just before the final bow, Ross interrupted the curator by reminding her of why they had difficulty letting go. “You have to understand how emotional this is for us, this may be the last time we sit together as a cast,” Ross said.
There were many tears shed, but also many laughs. Anthony Anderson, a lead in the show who is currently attending Howard University, wanted to make a quick announcement to the Howard Community.
“Make sure you pull up to Howard University Commencement on May 7th when I walk across the stage 33 years later; it’s never too late”, Anderson said in a playful way.
“Black-ish” is available to watch on ABC and streaming services such as Hulu.
Copy edited by Jasper Smith