Ode to Black-ish
There’s no logical reason why I’ve chosen
now as the right time to crush
on Tracee Ellis Ross. The earlier episode,
when she wore life into that romper
and everyone realized she had the shape
an onion would layer its tears for,
was a more appropriate time to swoon.
There’s something about Bow and her eyes;
telling a story, relenting to the story,
listening as the story becomes a sitcom
flaunting its blackness with banter, then bait-switching
to the industrial strength police brutality version.
She first voices respectability politics, then turns
it all around, gets it. Genius. Beautiful.
Not African American-ish, not I-need-
ish. Black-ish. That super black ish.
Like talkin-reckless-in-the-barbershop ish,
or white-in-the-boardroom ish. Everyday
type ish. Clap-back-on-a-neighbor-
paranoid-loud-and-occasionally-wrong ish. Love-
Sometimes we laugh to keep from—good-
That episode though—pretense of humor falling
to the side like store-bought potato salad
at the cookout. Dre voiced every black
household’s thoughts as Obama walked down an
incredulously wide and open street. Bow spoke
an apologists tongue but found her way
in the end. I saw my kids
by seeing theirs. Remembered the intricate struggle
of explaining the world to the innocent.
My parent’s generation didn’t need to know
the whole story to know the story:
a re-run is a bad dream; nightmare /
verdict / non-indictment / vigil / hashtag / in every home
and yes / we watch this ish / syndicated.
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