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Tired-ish: Renewal of ‘Black-ish’ comes with Unwanted Prequel, ‘Mixed-ish’

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ABC has renewed “Black-ish” for a sixth season while also requesting a prequel series titled “Mixed-ish”. Focusing on the childhood of Tracee Ellis Ross’s biracial character, Rainbow Johnson, the proposed series is already fetching criticism.

Following suit with the other series produced and inspired by Kenya Barris, “Mixed-ish” carries a similarly stylized title. Unfortunately, it’s unimaginative and inadvertently highlights an existing problem with the shows, pending and current. With two series that already feature monochromatic casts, we are left to wonder who exactly the target audience is for ‘Mixed-ish. Tackling biracial adversity in the 80’s, the synopsis states the series plans to “illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.”

‘Brown Babies’

For those of us with good memories or non-white skin, we don’t need a series to explain to us the difficulties of growing up othered. The challenges that biracial people faced in the 1980’s weren’t like those children of the 40s or 50s faced. By no means am I discounting the difficulties they encountered. I’m simply stating the concept of “passing”, whether tactical or otherwise, was more prominent for children and adolescents from post-emancipation through Jim Crow and World War II. For me, the stories of “Mischilingskinder”, also known as ‘Brown Babies’, comes to mind.

For context: Brown Babies was the term for children of Black soldiers and White European women during and after World War II. Roughly 7,000 in number, some of these children became wards of the German state, as their mother’s were without the resources to care for them properly. Yet, some maintained custody of their children, sparing them the experiences of orphanages and foster parents in a land where racial discrimination against Blacks existed. Eventually featured in Jet Magazine, the stories of these children are incredibly important and essential to the fabric of our history. However, in my opinion, we are not in need of another series that will attempt to capitalize on the “tragic mulatto” trope, especially not one set during a time when “light skin was in.”

Fetishized Fairness

A larger reason I believe there’s no interest in ‘Mixed-ish’ centers around the obvious acceptance of light skin during the 80’s. By this time, popular culture reflected the approval of light skin and awarded those with a proximity to whiteness. The success of Prince, Al B Sure, DeBarge and other fair skinned artists parallelled the acceptance of light skin and biracial traits in common society. In fact, you could be adventurous enough to say the 80s is when the fetishization of fair-skin mixed children became more noticeable. In casual conversation the mention of desiring “good hair”, instruction to stay out of the sun, and lust for light eyes was uncomfortably normal. While those would certainly find their way into ‘Mixed-ish’ in a way that could potentially spotlight colorism, I have concerns that their definition of mixed is limited.

The expressed lack of interest in the series, which social media has made clear, is because the viewing audience has a broader scope of what biracial looks like. Unlike other generations of entertainment consumers, millenials and beyond have an understanding that mixed is not just Black and white and does not simply equal beige. We have been invested in pushing for representation for all races, genders, and sexualities in mass media. For that reason, the creation of a show that seems to only be attacking these concerns from the point of a fair-skinned Black/white child is myopic and likely based in respectability politics. I’m sure the show will still fetch viewers, but if execution is as poor as expected, heed this request: Please stay away from ‘Gay-ish’.

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Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Share News of the Loss of Their Unborn Child

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Early Thursday morning Chrissy Teigen and John Legend let the world know of the loss of their unborn child. In a heartfelt and heartbreaking post to social media, Teigen described her and husband John Legend’s “deep pain you only hear about.” She went on to talk about how the couple does not typically name their children “until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before (they) leave the hospital,” but somehow they fell on the name “Jack.”

The heartbreaking news comes just days after first being admitted to the hospital for what she described as heavy bleeding. However, two days ago, she assured fans that both her and baby were healthy and doing well. Teigen, no stranger to social media, continued to engage her following, giving brief updates along the way, when shortly after midnight she shared photos of her and John in the hospital cradling their newborn in the immediate aftermath.

While her husband has remained largely unproblematic and scandal-free, Teigen has been the frequent target of scathing criticism – much of which is completely valid. From her ridiculing Black hair, to her seemingly mocking intimate partner violence when she referenced Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez’s incident, Chrissy Teigen has been the focus of such harsh vitriol that she has threatened to quit social media altogether on multiple occasions. Sharing such personal news with the world may come as a surprise to many. 

Overwhelmingly, however, the internet’s response has been positive and embracing. Celebrities and non-celebs alike have offered words of support to the couple as they go through this difficult time. See both the model’s post and the heartwarming responses to it below.

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Chadwick Boseman Passes Away At 43

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Actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his role as King T’Challa in the box office smash “Black Panther” passed away from colon cancer Friday.

The actor was first diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in 2016, but remained active in his career with much of his work being released post-diagnosis. A statement from his family confirmed that he continued to work despite his cancer progressing, befitting a man who brought America’s first Black superhero to the silver screen. 

As the news of the actor’s death spread, many took to social media to share their condolences. 

The tributes continue to flood in as news of his passing continues to ripple through. Read the official statement from his family below.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman.

Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV.

A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy.

It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. 

He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side.

The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”

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When White Privilege Isn’t Enough to Get Into USC: Lori Loughlin Sentenced to 2 Months in Prison

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Actress Lori Loughlin was sentenced to two months in prison today for her role in the college admissions scandal. If you haven’t followed the 10-month-long saga, Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli, a fashion designer, plead not guilty to a bribery charge in a college admission scam back in 2019… Because white privilege just isn’t what it used to be.

The two later plead guilty to paying William Rick Singer, the mastermind, $500,000 to guarantee their two daughters a spot at the University of South Carolina.

Loughlin’s sentence came several hours after her husband’s five-month sentence. According to the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, Giannulli’s five-month sentence also came with a whopping fine of $250,000 and 250 hours of community service.

“[Giannulli] engaged more frequently with Singer, directed the bribe payments to USC and Singer, and personally confronted his daughter’s high school counselor to prevent the scheme from being discovered, brazenly lying about his daughter’s athletic abilities,” US Attorney Andrew Lelling of Massachusetts said in the memo released on Tuesday. “Loughlin took a less active role, but was nonetheless fully complicit, eagerly enlisting Singer for a second time for her younger daughter, and coaching her daughter not to ‘say too much’ to her high school’s legitimate college counselor, lest he caught on to their [fradulent activity].

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