Why Shows like “Atlanta”, “Insecure”, “grown·ish” are Important for Black Creatives
Written By: Hakeem Shabazz-Norris
In the year of 2018, African-American culture is used for nothing more than a trend for people to gain quick fame and proclaim how they aren’t feeding off the culture that we hold so dear to us. Mimicking rappers, lip injections, and stealing our lingo (see “fleek“). See in this day and age, it is hard for our to culture to prosper when it‘s actually coming from us without it being gentrified or stolen completely. But as we continue this struggle, we see that our fight to get our ideas to the public has shifted. As shows like Atlanta, Insecure, & grown · ish display that the creatives aren’t just being heard, they are being seen. These three shows dive into the lives of people outside the stereotype of the “token black character” and show that we are our own people.
Now if you don’t recognize any of these three shows, let me give you some info.
“Insecure” is a TV series written, produced, and starring the lovable awkward sensation that is Issa Rae. The show follows Issa & her close friend Molly on their escapades of balances their youth, relationships, and their friendships. Then we have this generation‘s A Different World, “grown · ish” follows Zoey Johnson (played by Yara Shahidi) on her very awkward and life-changing experience in college. She encounters love, lust, drugs, all while trying to balance school at the same time. And lastly, we have “Atlanta,” a show written, starring, directed and produced by the amazing Donald Glover (Childish Gambino). Atlanta is a tale about the life of Earn (played by Donald Glover), a man who has dropped out of college and is struggling to make a good life for his ex-girlfriend and his daughter, Lottie. Earn, with nowhere to go, decides to manage his cousin, Alfred aka “Paper Boi”, as he tries to take the crown as Atlanta’s biggest rapper.
So why are these shows important?
See these shows aren’t just important just because they star black people. If that was the case, you would be seeing little Daquan dress up as Shaft for Halloween. See representation matters, and it‘s important for every community and every denomination within that community.
These shows show that you don’t just have to pick up a mic or a ball to make it, they show that you don’t cram yourself by studying for hours on end for a class, they show that being creative pays off. They show the little kid that likes to act that he can make it, and he will be praised when he makes it. See, these three shows follow three different people down three different paths, and that‘s what matters. The black creative is finally being shown that every path is different, and the people behind these shows or the people starring in these shows are showing the black creative that they too can have something being shown on TV. So no, it‘s not about just being black, it‘s about being a black creative.