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The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

“Black-ish” makes its hilarious debut on ABC



Ladies and gentlemen, it’s autumn in New York City.. Summer has made her exit, the leaves are changing and the air is brisk and cool. Fall is here and so are the new and favorite shows.


If you love watching comical TV shows that also shine light on important racial issues, you should watch ABC’s new comedy series, “Black-ish.”


This scripted series premiered this past Wednesday, Sept. 24. It is about a father, played by Anthony Anderson, who is afraid that his bi-racial wife, played by actress Tracee Ellis Ross, isn’t “black enough” and that his four children are losing their racial identity while his father, Pops, played by Lawrence Fishburne, adds his 2 cents.


In the first episode, Andre Johnson (Anderson), an advertising executive, thought, “that in an effort to make it, black folks dropped a little bit of their culture and the rest of the world is picking it up.” Instead of saying ‘black,’ the rest of the world named it ‘urban,’ which he found offensive.


Andre was anticipating a promotion at his job, Stevens & Lido, as the first African American senior vice president. To Andre’s surprise, he was promoted as the new SVP of their new Urban Division, which, according to his mind, meant being in charge of “the black stuff.”


While having to be “urban” at work, he comes home to his children expressing that they didn’t know or cared about Barack Obama being the first African American president, that his oldest son, Andre Jr., is playing field hockey instead of playing basketball and wants a bar mitzvah and that his youngest son and daughter, who are twins, don’t identify people by their race. He sets some strict guidelines for his family to “keep it real.”


Trying to prove his point with Operation Keepin’ It Real, Andre winds up bombing his first presentation as the SVP of the Urban Division, which puts his job on the line and tries to instill African Heritage into Andre Jr. After talking to his Pops, he soon realizes that he had to do whatever he had to do for his family and that being “‘urban’ can also mean hip, cool and colorful.”


“Black-ish” had 10.98 million viewers when it premiered. “It was only slightly less than ‘Modern Family’’s 10.93 million viewers. That’s 98.7 percent of ‘Modern Family’’s total viewers. Since the number of viewers a show retains from the show leading into it is a very important number from a network’s point-of-view, that’s phenomenal for the new show,” according to Kelsey McKinney from


This show might be compared to “The Cosby Show,” but it is also being called the next “Modern Family.” It is filled with comedy, but it also makes people aware of the experience of an African American family in America today.


“Black-ish” has now taken over ABC on Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. If you missed the first episode, you can catch it on


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About the Contributor
Jasmine Imani Davis, Entertainment Editor
Entertainment Editor: Jasmine is a senior Journalism major who wants to make a change to the newspaper by bringing in more students who will shine a light on the talent at the University. [email protected]

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