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The “American Broadcasting Company”: Hyphenating America, one show at a time.

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Christopher Harris

It seems that it has always been a challenge to find a positive portrayal of American Blacks on network television. After NBC’s, “THE COSBY SHOW”  went off the air in 1992, we have been afflicted with one show after another, that tend to depict families in general, but Black families in particular, in a less than glowing light. Heathcliff Huxtable was not only a man that every young Black male could look up to…but he was someone that ANYONE could look up to, as a Man, a Husband, and as a Father.

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) has given us some really “great shows” (where is the sarcasm font when you need it), like “MY WIFE AND KIDS” and “FAMILY MATTERS”, which both somehow managed to make Black males and particularly Black Fathers, look like Museum Grade Morons.

Right now, one of the hottest shows on network television is “SCANDAL” on ABC. Kerry Washington has been nominated for a “Best Actress” Golden Globe award and a Primetime Emmy award for her portrayal of Ms. Olivia Pope, “Crisis Management Expert” to the President. But lets be honest…she plays a harlot who is having an affair with the married President of the United States. Yeah, that’s something I want my daughter or nieces to look up to.

Well, ABC has a new show coming to prime time in the fall of 2014, and from what I can tell…they are up to their old tricks. According to the official ABC write up, “Andre Johnson has a great job, a beautiful wife, four kids and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for to this urban family?

Blackish Family - UA edit

Check out the trailer for their new show, “BLACK-ish”

The show is written by Kenya Barris, and is “loosely based on his personal experiences, Black-ish centers on an upper-middle-class black man (Anderson) who struggles to raise his children with some sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father, and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.”

If you listen to the vapid writing of the folks over at the Huff Post, they say that this new show “Brings some much needed diversity to the world of TV sitcoms”. But isn’t there supposed to be more to “diversity” than simply having someone of a different skin-color on tv. Diversity is more than color, it’s about culture; and our culture is America. We don’t believe in hyphenations or anything that attempts to divide our people from a common cause. I will withhold final judgement until I see the finished product, but right now, from where I stand, I don’t see this new show as being anything that is going to help bring more Americans together. I miss “THE COSBY SHOW”.

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