First Look Clip: A #BlackAF Dinner With a Side of White Gaze

Rashida Jones (l) and Kenya Barris (r) in #BlackAF
Rashida Jones (l) and Kenya Barris (r) in #BlackAF
Screenshot: Netflix

Kenya Barris is Black-ish no more; now, he’s #BlackAF.

Netflix breaks it down:

Loosely inspired by Barris’ irreverent, highly flawed, unbelievably honest approach to parenting, relationships, race, and culture, #blackAF flips the script on what we’ve come to expect a family comedy series to be. Pulling back the curtain, #blackAF uncovers the messy, unfiltered and often hilarious world of what it means to be a “new money” black family trying to get it right in a modern world where “right” is no longer a fixed concept. The Netflix original series stars Barris as a fictionalized version of himself and Rashida Jones (Angie Tribeca) as his wife Joya. Kenya and Joya’s children are played by Genneya Walton (Xtant), Iman Benson (Suits), Scarlet Spencer (Bright), Justin Claiborne (Reverie), Ravi Cabot-Conyers (The Resident) and Richard Gardenhire Jr. #blackAF is executive produced by Barris, Jones, and Hale Rothstein.


As discussed with Very Smart Brothas Senior Editor Panama Jackson, who, like me, binged the debut season via Netflix-provided advanced screeners, #BlackAF is definitely “Black-ish Meets Curb Your Enthusiasm.” And it definitely has embraced that popular marriage between mock interview and wonky zoom-in camera technique that half-hour comedies are loving these days.

In an exclusive clip obtained by The Root, Kenya and Joya enjoy a bit of banter between their well-meaning white liberal friends during dinner but the “white gaze” (which becomes a funny running joke throughout the series, but I won’t spoil it and say how) jumps out.

#BlackAF Exclusive Clip for The Root / Netflix

Oh, and by the way, you may hear those bleeped-out curse words in the above clip since it’s catered to general audiences for public promotional purposes, but best believe there is none of that in the actual episode. Like Barris said in a press release announcing the series, he wants this to be “something bold, honest, and unfiltered.” Remember, this is Netflix! This ain’t network television. The nigga is free!

Things to look out for this series: unabashed cussin’, cute and witty kids, a bit of self-reflection, surprising cameos and guest appearances, lots of new black wealth and every episode riffing on how various black American experiences are “because of slavery.”

#BlackAF drops on Netflix April 17.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.


Gameface doesn`t play nice with others

I’m gonna watch but I can’t say I am not a little....disappointed that Kenya Barris apparently has no more original ideas. He is the Hank Pym of Black entertainment as Ant-man can only get bigger or smaller. When I read about this months ago, I was like “it’s black-ish with cussing.” I realized that black-ish hit a wall when the Cousin Pammed us (if you’re old enough, the cousin would be Oliver) which I thought was a death knell, but they came back in the subsequent years with better writing. IMO. I do feel like the original is struggling with what to do with the storylines for kids who are now turning into young adults so I’m sure this show will be able to freshen that up for a few years at least. I also didn’t think the clip was all that humorous’s just a clip. As always I root for everybody Black, but I am anxious to see if he will offer fresh takes on an already well-watched content