Black-ish is an American TV show about an upper-middle-class black family living in a predominantly white community. The key cultural values of the American society that are reflected in the show are individualism and multiculturalism. Firstly, individualism is a critical notion in the United States, where each person is encouraged to stand out from the crowd, develop their talents, and achieve success independently of other people.
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This concept is reflected in the show because every character is unique and has personal problems that they are trying to solve. For instance, children are preoccupied with their studies, and their father is often busy with work. Multiculturalism is also a prominent trend in America, which is one of the most diverse cultures in the world. Although the show focuses on a black family, characters from other cultural backgrounds are present, too, thus connecting the show to its cultural context.
Black-ish includes some stereotypes and generalizations, most of which are either social or political. In fact, the main idea of the show that drives the initial plot is that black people are expected to act in a certain way. Seeing that his family does not conform to this stereotype, the father fears that their black heritage and culture will be lost and attempts to fix the problem by spending more time with his children and his wife.
The images of white people in the show are also somewhat stereotypical because many of them are either racist or ignorant of issues affecting black populations. The stereotypes about black and white people are also evident in American society, and thus the show reflects the culture in which it was created.
The sitcom is based in the United States and is specific to the American culture. The stereotype of the African American family and the issues these people are facing are not experienced in any other country. Therefore, people from other countries, especially Asians, are not likely to understand the stereotypical allusions and may get confused. For instance, Black History Month featured in one of the episodes is not known in any other country. In short, some of the features cannot be understood by people from other countries.
The negative side of the sitcom is that it promotes stereotypes. Even though the show focuses on people trying to overcome racism at school and in the workplace, it makes people laugh at racist jokes. At the same time, the positive impact of the sitcom is that the family tries to save its individuality instead of submerging in the mostly white society. It promotes universal values making people think if globalization is a good thing, which is very well represented in the episode where the father teaches his children about their heritage. In short, the show has potentially positive and negative consequences.
As for the recommendations, the creators of Black-ish might consider making the series more understandable for people from other countries. For instance, the family may meet people from other cultures, like Asian or East European, and find what bothers them. This may allow the series to cover more issues and help the viewer understand the problems of different nationalities ethically account for globalization and contrasting values of multiple cultures.
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