Over the years, the American black community has pushed for their representation in the different form of art. For instance, particularly in the present, there has been black representation in most songs and movies. There has been an increased push for such representation, mainly because they feel like they have been oppressed for quite an extended period. Other members of the black community like to call it a revolution, after long years of oppression by the white man. As earlier mentioned, various forms of art can be used as a media of passing information to a large population, and thus improve their knowledge on the matter. This essay tries to explore and assess how sitcoms can be used to represent the life of an average black family. Similarly, it will criticize whether this particular sitcom has weakness in the previously mentioned representation. The sitcom on hand is a favorite comedy show known as 'Blackish' that has Andrew Johnson as the lead actor. This sitcom portrays a normal African American family, its system of operations, the roles of each family member, as well as the various activities they take part in that have cultural significance. In particular, this essay will put much of its focus on a particular episode titled 'Juneteenth.' In simple terms, this is a celebration that most, if not all, African Americans take part in to celebrate their cultural background. As earlier mentioned, this essay will not only support the representation of black people in the sitcom but also criticize its failure in doing the same.
For many years, the media in the United States of America has been criticized for their representation of African Americans on television media. In general, most literature on this matter suggests that most media channels portray the black American communities just like any other community present in the United States of America. In other words, some research suggests that television and other media like radio or films put black Americans on the map while others fail to do so in the most appropriate way. This research paper will, therefore, explore both the strengths and the weaknesses of a popular sitcom known as 'Blackish' in its representation of the black Americans community. In particular, a particular episode titled 'Juneteenth.'
To begin with, it is of great importance to understand the meaning and relevance of Juneteenth to the Black Americans community. In specific, Juneteenth is a nationwide holiday that happens on every 19th of June each year. It is a memorial day as well as a day of celebration to this community for the freedom their ancestors gained after years of slavery under the strict rule of the White man. This celebration is the oldest in the United States of America as it commemorates the end of slavery in the country. Looking at the history of this day, in 1863, the then president, Abraham Lincoln signed the very first emancipation proclamation that was meant to free all slaves. Following this huge announcement, the remaining 250,000 slaves in the country were released efficiently. Previously, this celebration was mostly practiced in rural areas and incorporated activities such as fishing, family reunions, barbeques, just to mention a few. In other regions, church grounds were a popular venue for this celebration. As more and more Black Americans become acceptable in the society and consequently improved economic wise, Juneteenth increased in popularity and had therefore been celebrated by most members of this community. In this fourth episode of Blackish, Andre Johnson together with his family come together to celebrate this beautiful commemoration in the history of Black Americans. As earlier mentioned, this paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of black people representation in this comedic series, and whether it entirely performs the task.
In my opinion, this sitcom has gone beyond in trying to showcase the beauty and heritage of African Americans, specifically those dwelling in the United States of America. In this episode, Johnson teaches his children how vital Juneteenth is to them. It is an explicit representation of most black families and how some of its members don't value their history. In other words, this funny sitcom portrays a Black American parent who truly appreciates their culture, and is willing to pass it on to his children, who will then hopefully pass it on to future generations. This episode begins with Andre Johnson trying to explain to his fellow workmates on the importance of this particular day to all black people. With the help of Charlie, they both exhaustively defend Juneteenth as a significant commemoration day for them. The rest of the workmates are white people and thus feel like it does not have such a great significance. The cast of Blackish in this episode represents a family unit, coming together to raise awareness of the importance of this day, in marking the end of black slavery, not only in the past but also in the present.
Also, Andre Johnson talks about how most people celebrate a 'horrible man,' who once led the country without even acknowledging the importance of individual moments in the history of the United States of America. Through his explanation, Dre leaves his fellow workmates in shock upon hearing the in-depth details concerning this particular holiday. It is also quite evident that Dre gets filled with anger when he was assisted by the prominent producer Aloe Blacc and the white workmates began lashing him out. This scene portrays how the majority of Americans, both black and white do not acknowledge Juneteenth and its actual meaning. According to Dre, the entire state gets into celebration mood on July 4th, i.e., Independence Day, but very little attention is given to Juneteenth.
I am in full support of black people history representation in this musical episode of Blackish. Andre begins by explaining to his son that Juneteenth represents freedom; freedom of all black people from the oppression of the White man. This freedom meant that all black people were now entitled to own land, start a business, get loans, access better health care and entertainment services. As earlier mentioned, black families were for many years enslaved by the whites to extents that were no longer bearable. Based on this episode, it is believed that black American families contributed a lot in the building of what is the United States of America. Thus, it is essential that they feel appreciated as credible members of the society. This sitcom puts it clear for the viewer to understand the journey and history of the present black community in the country. Just like in other films, Blackish has portrayed how such an important celebration should be held, especially at the family level. It does not matter what other members of the society might think of you and your family. What matters most is that one appreciates their history as is as well ready to shout it loud for the whole world to hear. In a particular scene, Dre's elder son tell the rest of the family members that Juneteenth does not matter and they should not put much attention to it. However, as the father, he makes sure that all members of the family are present for the celebration and that they are proud of it.
Such a sitcom received the massive rating in the film industry. It, therefore, means that it has reached and created awareness to millions of people across the globe. Just like other sitcoms in the 1970s like the Cosby show, Blackish has done quite an excellent job in representing the lives of black Americans. It is high time that media channels change their content from the dominant white culture to more diverse ones. Due to the enormous following and acceptance of such a comedic series, it should be used more in representing the inferior communities in the country. That way, more people will gain awareness, not only on the history but also their significance in the society. In this case, the black families have been put o the map using this series as opposed to previous years where they all seemed inferior. After this sitcom, there emerged others such as grownish that are based on the same aspect of representing black people.
In conclusion, it is evident that the media in the United States of America is working hard in the representation of blacks in the United States of America. The episode at hand begins with Andre Johnson trying to give details to his fellow workmates on the importance of this particular day to all black people. With the help of Charlie, they both methodically defend Juneteenth as a significant commemoration day for them. The rest of the workmates are white people and thus feel like it does not have such a great significance. The cast of Blackish in this episode represents a family unit, coming jointly to raise the consciousness of the importance of this day, in marking the end of black slavery, not only in the past but also in the present. This sitcom has played a significant role in the general society, particularly in giving members of the black community a sense of belonging. This sitcom puts it clear for the watcher to appreciate the journey and history of the present black city in the country. Just like in other movies, Blackish has portrayed how such an important celebration should be held, especially at the family level. It does not care what other members of the society might think of you and your family. More and more films should be produced under this aspect to push for the representation of blacks in the United States of America. Like earlier mentioned in the introduction, there has been an increased push for such representation, mainly because they feel like they have been oppressed for quite an extended period. Nevertheless, a lot needs to be done to increase such representation in mainstream media. For instance, more content should be added to these forms of art to broaden the spectrum of the image.
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Essay Sample for Students: Blacks Representation in Media. (2022, Mar 29). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/blacks-representation-in-media
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