As the protests continue around the country – and around the world – to demand justice in the George Floyd murder case and to speak out against police brutality and systemic racism, ABC joined the cause this week by re-airing two episodes of their sitcom Black-ish on Blackout Tuesday.
The first episode the network chose for the occasion was titled “Hope” from Season 2, and it addressed the issue of police brutality. The second episode was titled “Juneteenth” and it was the Season 4 premiere that commemorated the end of slavery in the United States.
Originally airing in February 2016, “Hope” finds the Johnson family at home waiting for a verdict in the case of an unarmed black man who was the victim of police brutality. As the kids start asking questions about the case, Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) don’t agree on how to answer.
In the musical episode “Juneteenth,” Dre is frustrated that America doesn’t seem to be aware what Juneteenth is after attending a kid’s play about Columbus Day. He points out that “Juneteenth is a 150-year-old tradition that no one’s heard about…not even my black kids.”
Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote on Instagram that it has been more than four years since they made “Hope,” which was an episode inspired by conversations he was having with his own children about countless examples of systemic oppression happening around them.
“It’s been 1,562 days since we first shared that episode with the world and it breaks my heart on so many levels that this episode feels just as timely as it did then and eerily prescient to what’s happening to black people in this country today,” wrote Barris.
He says that he is grateful to ABC for choosing to re-air both “Hope” and “Juneteenth,” but this is about more than one night of television. Barris believes this is about coming together as a country and as humans and saying “enough is enough.”
Kenya Barris says that black rights are human rights, and this continued injustice impacts everyone. He hopes that the episodes can bring families together to watch and learn, and he also hopes they inspire people to “demand liberty and justice for all, once and for all.”
All episodes of Black-ish are available for streaming on Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, and iTunes.