The 'Black-ish' season finale rejected stereotypes about black marriage


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Whatever the public perception, however, marriage is definitely for TV. It’s hard to name even a few family-oriented sitcoms where the main couples are unmarried. And true to form, well-known black shows like “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons,” “The Cosby Show,” “The Bernie Mac Show” and “The Hughleys” have all followed that nuclear family ideal. The revelation of “The Cosby Show” wasn’t that black people were married, but, rather, that black people were married, professional and well-to-do.

Building on this narrative, high socioeconomic status is a very important element of the latest spate of black TV shows. Surely, the main intent of the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) docu-series “Black Love,” in which largely famous black couples share their experiences in love and marriage, is to champion this concept. Debuting this past August, it was the most-watched unscripted series debut in OWN history, according to a press release. Buoyed by this success, OWN is doubling down with a new scripted series, “Love Is,” based on the lives of Hollywood writer-producer power couple Salim Akil and Mara Brock-Akil, premiering June 19.

Obviously, divorce is an unavoidable part of the black experience. As such, it feels like fair game for “Black-ish,” a show that has made a name for itself tackling tough issues.

And yet, we know that half of American marriages end in divorce. So obviously, divorce is an unavoidable part of the black experience as well. As such, it feels like fair game for “Black-ish,” a show that has made a name for itself tackling tough issues, ranging from the shocking election of President Donald Trump to the murders of unarmed, young black men by police.

But as a symbol, the black community collectively is far more invested in strong and solid marriages than in a more negative reality. It’s why fans were not quite so pleased with the prospect of their favorite couple splitting up. “Bow and Dre gotta cut the bulls**t!!! #BlackIsh,” tweeted popular radio personality Charlamagne Tha God when the couple’s union first appeared to be in jeopardy.



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