Is it me or has television gotten fairly Black? Now, I’m not saying there’s enough people of color on tv, what I am saying is, it’s browner than its been in awhile. Or at least my recent memory. This may be the second coming of the Martin, Living Single, New York Undercover block that ruled my Thursday nights. Fox used to love us before they had football. Thanks to Taraji and Terrence bringing back evening soap opera drama it appears they love us again. Well it’s really shonda’s doing, she’s been working her plan for years and the revenue she’s brought in has made space for the current set of shows led by people of color. That success coupled with Empire’s record breaking ratings have led us to where we currently reside.
In 2016, Loretta Devine and Jenifer Lewis are on network television every week. Sit with that for a moment. That’s powerful.
There has been, in the past, surges of television where POC played integral characters or were leads of a variety of televisions genres. So seeing ourselves isn’t new, but it has been sorely missed. We had a nice run from about 1992-1996/97 maybe a little less but we had a nice 3-4 year run of black shows. Then it seemed to all dry up. It went from having an option to seeing a POC on scripted television every night to tumbleweeds. And yes, television changed with the, takeover of reality tv causing less scripted shows to be made. But everything old becomes new and here we are again. But now we are here with Blackish, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, The Carmichael Show, Empire, Underground, however many Law & Order’s Ice-T is on. That’s not including cable shows and web series. Represent Represent.
And we are all the better for it. We are, the kids are, people on the other side. We exist and we have a story to tell. All types of stories from all vantage points. I hope for the excitement of Thursday night Martin to go to school Friday and tell all the jokes among each another.
This’s probably a stretch, but I can dream can’t I?