ABC’s newest comedy hit black-ish is 22 minutes of laughter, but when I sat down with the creator, some of the cast and the parents of the child stars I got a whole new appreciation for the humor and the heart of the show. Thanks to Disney, I get to share with you a glimpse into what makes black-ish so special behind the scenes.
black-ish is a bold new comedy that takes a multi-generational look at contemporary family issues. Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? With a little help from his dad (Laurence Fishburne), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future. black-ish stars Anthony Anderson as Dre, Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow, Yara Shahidi as Zoey, Marcus Scribner as Andre Jr., Miles Brown as Jack, Marsai Martin as Diane and Laurence Fishburne as Pops.
The Kids From black-ish
It doesn’t feel like work because actually feel like a real family. ~ Marsai Martin
While talking to the kids, it was clear that the kids are having fun. The best part about talking to them was seeing how comfortable and how real these kids are. Hollywood hasn’t changed the mini stars who were as excited to talk to us as we were to talk to them. In fact, after the interview the kids went off to school and later that afternoon surprised our group of bloggers by Tweeting with us about the interview.
And back at home, they clearly have the support of their family and friends who are all as proud as they should be of these up-and-coming stars.
Everybody is in our family is watching black-ish. If they aren’t, I’ll sock ’em. ~ Marsai Martin
My absolute favorite part of the interview was that even though there were four chairs set out for the kids, the two youngest ones choose to share a chair — sitting side-by-side in the chair. Without a doubt, these kids are as close as real siblings.
The Real Parents Of black-ish Stars
What struck me the most about meeting the kid stars of black-ish was how down-to-earth they seemed, and when we met with their parents it was clear why. The kids are backed by moms and dads who love them and cheer on every accomplishment.
The parents of the black-ish kids support their kids 100% of the way. And 100% of the time each kid has at least one parent on set — there to assist them, to support them and help them in any way. It is not only the kids’ full time job, it is the parents too. Which is a big commitment for the whole family.
As a mom I loved hearing the parents talk about how proud they are of their kids. It was very clear in talking to each of the parents that this is just a job for their kids, and at the end of the day they just want their kids to be kids.
They may be stars, but their parents want the same things for them that I want for my kids. They want their kids to do well in school, help with chores around the house and grow up to be good people.
The Creator Of black-ish
Kenya Barris also stopped by to talk to us, and it was interesting to hear from him about what the title black-ish means to him.
The world is a lot more homogenized than it ever was. I looked at my kids, the way I grew up and my definition of what black was and that is not what my kids are living. And interestingly some of their friends who are not black are more of what I thought black was growing up. So I don’t think there is black or white kid left in America, they are sort blend of a homogenized new layer of America. ~ Kenya Barris
Known for his quick wit and unabashed sense of humor, we found out that many of the black-ish stories are based upon his family. In fact, his wife’s name is Rainbow too.
While black-ish is very obviously a story about a black family, it is a story that all families can relate to and enjoy.
I don’t see it as a black show. I don’t think people look at Modern Family and think it is a white show. It is a show with a predominately black cast, and I think that is something I want people to take from this — we are just families. We are all just families. ~ Kenya Barris
Watch black-ish on ABC Wednesdays at 9:30 pm EST.
Next week I will share pictures from my behind the scenes look at the set of black-ish.
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