ABC’s black-ish has never been one to mince any words on social commentary, and Tuesday night’s Juneteenth episode wasn’t any different.
In the episode, Dre (Anthony Anderson) isn’t feeling it when Jack (Miles Brown) and Diane (Marsai Martin) have to participate in a play about Christopher Columbus at school.
Dre enlists Aloe Blacc at work to help him create a catchy song sung by The Roots to raise awareness for a holiday worth celebrating, Juneteenth. This results in a Hamilton-like episode featuring musical segments of the Johnsons as slaves waiting for the day they get to be free.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, creator Kenya Barris talks about the making of the episode. “Maybe if the country, together, celebrated the end of something on a yearly basis, that would bring a lot more peace and solidarity between a country that’s so clearly still split. But to celebrate that makes people feel that you have to acknowledge that it was real, and you have to acknowledge it was wrong, bigger than the moral sense of it; you have to acknowledge that it was wrong as a human rights violation — one of the grossest examples of a human rights violation in the history of mankind.”
The musical episode also featured a Schoolhouse Rock-esque skit about slavery, featuring The Roots, called ‘I’m Just a Slave’, which you can watch below:
— black-ish (@black_ishABC) October 4, 2017
Black-ish stars Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross as parents Dre and Bow, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Marsai Martin and Miles Brown as their kids Zoey, Junior, Diane and Jack, and Lawrence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis as Dre’s parents, Ruby and Pops.