Tracee Ellis Ross: Black-ish is a family comedy about a black family. It’s one of the things that’s interesting about the show. We’re not a family who happens to be black. We are a black family dealing with their ish. So although the show is not about being black within the ish, a lot of cultural, identity, race, all those kind of things come up.
Angela Yee: I think the show would benefit you, DJ Envy.
Tracee: Oh ok.
Angela: Envy doesn’t want his kids to know that they’re black.
Tracee Ellis Ross: Oh! You don’t want them to know they’re black?!
DJ Envy: That’s not true.
Angela Yee: Envy doesn’t want black people around them.
Envy: That’s not true.
Tracee: This is fascinating.
Charlamagne: It’s true to a certain extant.
Tracee: Do you have kids?
Charlamagne: Yes, I have a 6-year-old daughter.
Envy: I have four children and I live in an area where there’s not too many of us there. So my kids are not gonna have that many black friends because there’s not that many black people in my area.
Charlamagne: I think me and Envy’s mentality is more like your character Rainbow [on the show], in the fact that, we’re not tryna teach them anything. Just let them live. Let them be who they’re gonna be.
Tracee: Anthony Anderson’s character on the show, he wants them to know where they come from. It really is that internal question that all of us are asking: ‘How do you give your kids more than you had and yet what is it that’s important as a parent to pass on to your children?’ And then at the end of the day, you end up learning from your kid. Because they are the ones living in this different society. It’s kind of a fascinating thing when you talk to young kids and you’re like, ‘Isn’t it extraordinary that we have a black president?’ And they’re like, ‘Why do you keep talking about the fact that he’s black? Why do you sound racist?’
Envy: My kids don’t care if Barack Obama is black, they don’t care what he is, he’s just a person and that’s what I love. That’s why I didn’t get as a kid. When I grew up in Queens, it was, ‘We’re black, we stay together,’ but my kids don’t care. They play with Tommy, they play with Jennifer, and Michelle.
Tracee: I understand, but then I have a question: So it is always a point though when it’s whether you’re pulled over, driving while black or when a Ferguson situation where there is a moment as a parent that you do want your child to understand the legacy of what we come from and how that does impact the decisions we make and possibly how you need to navigate the reality of the world. And yet, it is our children who are going to start to change the perspective so that hopefully these are not things we have to deal with, but we’re not quite there yet. I think that’s what the show straddles; it’s a comedy but we really are dealing with those issues.
Charlamagne: I like the show because it shows that racism is a learned behavior. Like the kids on the show, they really have no clue about race, but Anthony Anderson’s is tryna instill it in them like—
Angela: [chimes in] Yeah but until somebody calls you the n-word one day and you’re like ‘what?’ I grew up in a black neighborhood and then I ended up going to private school in seventh grade where there were barely any black kids and there was a lot of racism I never had to deal with before. They were writing the n-word in the locker room, sending out racist Valentine’s Day cards.
Tracee: I think a show like Black-ish allows us to show us having these conversations. A lot of times, race is a hard thing to talk about because everybody has a different experience of it and it’s a hot topic issue because there’s some real stuff around it. So to be able to have these conversations, I think is really important. Otherwise, I think people shy away from the conversations, so hopefully this is the kind of show that is the water cooler talk.
Charlamange: You’re a biracial woman. Did you have any identity issues growing up?
Tracee: No. I don’t know if it’s just the perspective that my mother raised me with, but being of mixed heritage was really exciting to me as a kid. I felt really excited that when I went over my dad’s house there was a Christmas tree in the living room and a menorah in the kitchen. I found that it really gave me an opportunity to connect with what was the same about me and somebody else. It made me comfortable in all environments. I do like, within the context of this show, Pops’ point of view, the Laurence Fishburne’s character that’s very old school, Dre [Anthony Anderson’s character] who kind of straddles that, and the kids who are very colorless in the way they see, Rainbow is right in the middle. She’s more colorful. It’s not that she’s looking for a colorblind or a colorless world. It’s actually a world that has all of it. That a good thing and the beauty of this country, honestly.
Charlamage: Was there ever a moment when you were made aware that you were black?
Tracee: First of all, I’ve never known that I wasn’t black.
Charlamagne: Like in a negative moment.
Tracee: I’ve had moments; I had moments where the cab has pulled up and pulled away, especially if my hair is out. They get a little closer and keep on moving. For some reason, I can’t think of stuff now but I’ve always known I was black. In an interview recently, someone said, ‘So as a mixed woman, why is it that you identify as a black woman?’ If I thought I could try being a white woman for a day and say that maybe I would. I was like, ‘I don’t know if anyone would buy it. No, no, no I’m white. I’m very tan…very tan. I get a perm.’ [laughs]
I will never understand why there are parents who don’t feel the need to talk to their children about race as if it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t matter, and it’s a bad thing. It’s important! Raising children with rose tinted glasses causes more harm than good on one’s identity as they grow, and goes hand in hand with culture, representation, and, most of all, history. There is nothing wrong with having differences. Kids are curious and love to learn. Race as well as ethnicity allows them to connect with other kids who are of the same race or ethnicity as them and learn about kids of other races and ethnicities (if they are taught in that manner) that differ from them but can still share similar likes and dislikes with them. Granted, there are kids that don’t speak in color—black and white—but they do speak in shades—lighter and darker. When kids are small they use all types of crayons to color people. However, by the time they begin grade school, they use crayons that are similar to skin tones. There’s no need to raise them in a fantasy world until something happens: they’re called a racial slur, they’re bullied because of the color of their skin, etc. This should be slowly instilled in them when they are young, bit by bit, so they can learn and grasp it over time, but not drilled in them so they can still be kids.
In a study of children aged 2-5, parents interrupted their daughters more than their sons, and fathers were more likely to talk simultaneously with their children than mothers were. Jennifer Coates says: “It seems that fathers try to control conversation more than mothers… and both parents try to control conversation more with daughters than with sons. The implicit message to girls is that they are more interruptible and that their right to speak is less than that of boys.”
Girls and boys’ differing understanding of when to talk, when to be quiet, what is polite and so on, has a visible impact on the dynamics of the classroom. Just as men dominate the floor in business meetings, academic conferences and so on, so little boys dominate in the classroom - and little girls let them.
Working with children for over a decade, this is something I’ve noticed, actually. And for the majority, the little girls in my class and my co-worker’s classes all sit quietly and listen MUCH better than the boys do. Most boys don’t care to be quiet and sit still. And I don’t think this is an attribute of boys being “rowdier” or more “hyper” - believe me, the girls are JUST as off the wall as the boys if you aren’t telling them not to. It must be a learned behavior, and it must be enforced more with the girls so they know they can’t get away with it. You have no idea how many times in my career I’ve heard “boys will be boys,” and smiling parents as they tell me with a laugh, sorry, their son is “wild” and a “handful” as they introduce him to the class.
And that’s how you do sexism. That’s how it’s so effectively trained into every single citizen and indoctrinated as normal and right.
Mhmm… Other adults used to compliment my parents on how i was such a quiet polite little girl… I had many social difficulties growing up and it was pretty hard for me to live on my own at first, to make friends and to take care of important things that had to do with interacting with strangers. I had to unlearn a lot of things which I am still trying hard to do. :/
this is something that struck me so clearly when i left women’s college to go to co-ed graduate school. i remember being in my first seminar and thinking “why do these guys think they can just talk whenever they want, who cares about their opinion” and getting so many compliments from girls in my classes about how good i was at talking in class. it’s crazy to see how instilled these communication rules are in adults
My post was not an invitation for male tears.
You got married. I’m not sure why you would take what I posted to go on about how black “good guys” tm are being ignored for money or being boring. You are out the game. There is no reason for your input to be given.
But since you are here, I’ll make this a teachable moment.
Women should have standards. They should not attempt to be with someone just because the guy trying to pursue them thinks he’s good enough. Black women are not villains because they don’t want to date certain guys.
I’m always at a loss when men demand that they be settled for. If a woman isn’t for you it’s not the end of the world. Why would they want a woman, who has found for whatever reason that the two are not a match, to try stick it out just because the guy likes her?
There are people that would be happy with a broke guy. Wonderful
There are people that will be happy with a boring guy. Splendid
There are women that will not want to date either and that is okay too.
The fact that some women do not want to date either guy is not a reason for men to be shitty. It’s okay to not be chosen for those reasons.
Dating someone that is not right for you is like trying to be comfortable in a pair of shoes a half size too small.
If you really love black women, you would not love them to settle.
i’ll never understand men who want women to date them just because they’re there.
It’s called ENTITLEMENT and ownership and it’s disgusting.
Every black man that is “ok with white people using the n-word”
That Asian girl who applauds Katy Perry dressing up like a Geisha
Those native American folks who are fine with the “Redskins” mascot
The Chicano/Latino boy who wants to “deport all the illegals”
A moment of silence for our fallen soldiers. They are lost to the cause.