Black-ish Season 4 Premiere Review: “Juneteenth”

MARSAI MARTIN, JENIFER LEWIS, YARA SHAHIDI, TRACEE ELLIS ROSS, ANTHONY ANDERSON, MARCUS SCRIBNER, MILES BROWN, LAURENCE FISHBURNE
ABC

Black-ish has always been honest when it comes to race relations in America and the season 4 premiere was no exception. The episode began with the Johnson family attending Jack and Diane’s school play about Christopher Columbus. Dre comments that they shouldn’t have to take time to celebrate Christopher Columbus when the country doesn’t acknowledge important dates like Juneteenth. Juneteenth refers to June 19, 1865, the day that slaves in the South were finally declared free.

Dre continues his conversation about Juneteenth at the office where Aloe Black happens to be visiting and assists Dre with explaining the history about the unofficial holiday. The rest of the episode is filled with songs that tell the history of African Americans. The first one is an animated short inspired by Schoolhouse Rock! ‘s ‘I’m Just a Bill’ called ‘I’m Just a Slave’ performed by The Roots.

The conversation continues with the entire Johnson family performing two Hamilton-esque songs showing the contributions that slaves made to America as well as the struggles freed slaves had.

Through telling the story Dre gets upset and when he is asked what he wants, he realizes that he can’t force America to take responsibility for slavery but he can start by having his family celebrate Juneteenth with a cookout, strawberry soda, and red-velvet cake.

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