A pre-screening of ABC’s new sitcom, Black-ish, reveals that at the heart of it, it’s a story about family.
The comedy follows Andre (Anthony Anderson) as he attempts to navigate the ins and outs of having an upper-class black family in a white neighborhood. “We’re not shying away from the fact that we’re a black family,” Tracee Ellis Ross explained during a press screening. She will be portraying Rainbow, the family’s leading lady. She said that the show’s emphasis on the family as black is one her favourite parts of the project. “In terms of the title of the show, it’s about a black family dealing with their -ish. It’s as simple as that.”
As far as drawing the actress to the show and the role of Rainbow, Tracee noted that the humor is smart and relatable. After all, it is based on the real life experiences of the show’s creator, Kenya Barris, and his family. Although Tracee is happy to be playing a character for whom race will factor largely, she also wants the viewers to take the show for what it is – funny. “It’s a comedy,” she stated. “We are not trying to change lives and we are not trying to fix slavery. We’re making people laugh.”
Still, Kenya recently took time to speak to the Huffington Post about how he feels the show will resonate with viewers during a time when issues of race are dominating headlines. In considering where the US stands today, with a black president and a high-profile case over the killing of a young black man, Michael Brown, Kenya had this to say:
I think it’s a really important time for this show to air. I think that I am not trying to get on a pulpit and preach. This is comedy. At its heart, it’s a family comedy. It’s not a political show … We wanted to make this show the same way for me, growing up, “The Cosby Show” was like, “Oh my God! I want that to be my family.” We wanted to make this show aspirational and we wanted to build off of what Dr. Cosby did in a really positive way.
The show also stars Yara Shahidi, Laurence Fishburne, and Miles brown. It will premiere onABC on September 24th at 9:30.