#BlackAF

TV review by
Lynnette Nicholas, Common Sense Media
#BlackAF TV Poster Image
Provocative, cheeky comedy has strong language.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Messages of examining history and its connection to behavioral patterns that are in operation in different demographics in the present day, as well as offers a positive social commentary on how racial and social constructs psychologically affect everyone in differing ways. A married couple, though flawed, depict what is it to love unconditionally. Seeing privileged black people who live full and engaged lives lends a positive counter-stereotype to what is often seen in media. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

A black male father figure, Kenya, is present and an active influence in the lives of his six children. He provides -- even if in overabundance to a fault at times. A studious 18-year old high school senior, Drea, is socially and emotionally mature, focused on getting into a good college, and showcases having a diplomatic mindset. A wealthy mom, Joya, is not a "helicopter" parent, but on the contrary gives her children space to express their individuality, yet throughout it's not quite evident if she's much of a role model.

Violence
Sex

Some sexual innuendo. In one scene, a mom and wife is seen hurling obscenities and threatening to sleep with someone else if her husband does not buy a really expensive, custom sports car. Discussion of a man pulling his "d--k" out at a Writer's Guild party. There's talk of penis size.

Language

There's some serious adult language throughout. Both adults and children use swear words as a social and family norm. Statements such as: "You ungrateful little s--t," "bulls--t," "darkie," "coon," "f--k," "rap monkey," a--hole," "THOT," and "d--k" are used. Parents swear at their children, and children swear at their parents.

Consumerism

Consumerism is a major theme throughout the entire series. There's talk of private jets, extremely expensive cars, valet, major designer labels, exclusive locations, brunch at The Four Seasons as a weekly social and family norm, a heightened  preoccupation with wealth and perceptions of wealth. A husband, wife and kids are privileged, and at times are obnoxious about it. The Barris children are extremely privileged, and they know it. The parents of the Barris household often struggle with setting financial boundaries, and often indulge their children.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There's some adult social drinking and drug use, as well as talk of adults getting drunk at parties and events. There's talk of drinking without regard for consequences. A mom gets high off of molly.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that #BlackAF is an original comedy series directed by Kenya Barris (Shaft, Girl's Trip, Little) and centers on a newly wealthy black family, and how they are coping with newly navigating the world with privilege. It stars both Kenya Barris, creator of shows like Black-ish and Mixed-ish, and Rashida Jones (Spies in Disguise, Klaus). The adults of the Barris household embrace modern parenting, and don't necessarily strive to be the "perfect" family. Parents are open about their flaws, and unapologetically and unabashedly embrace being both black and rich. There's strong adult language. This series is intended for older teenagers and mature audiences. Language such as "s--t," "f--k," "darkie," "coon," "rap monkey," a--hole, "THOT," and "d--k" is used. There's sexual innuendo, and talk of penis size is discussed among adults.  Some negative stereotypes are depicted. Themes of open communication between adults and children, real-world issues and conversations, and topics around race are not sugar-coated. Families who watch with teens should be prepared for very frank discussions about issues and realities concerning race. While Barris has created successful shows such as Black-ish, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish, #BlackAF doesn't quite stack up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLana H. July 8, 2020

Talk with your kids first

I think that this show is really funny I think that the only reason it is rated TV-MA is because of the language but then again PG-13 movies have language like... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bycouchismyhobby December 7, 2020
really funny, simple show with too much swearing but if you dont mind your kids being exposed to that its fine.
Teen, 16 years old Written byTypewriter101 July 8, 2020

Kenya Barris out with another great show!

*Disclaimer*: There is a lot of swearing, and smoking/drinking involved. Nonetheless, this show is boss. When I saw the trailer first come out on Netflix, I fel... Continue reading

What's the story?

#BLACKAF is a modern and provocative comedy series about a father, Kenya (Kenya Barris) who takes a cheeky and honest approach to parenting his six kids as well as in the manner that he interacts with his wife, Joya (Rashida Jones), his peers, and business colleagues. As a "new money" black family, the Barris family navigates their world with both privilege, liberality, and transparency -- sometimes to a fault.

Is it any good?

This comedy series does a good job of light-heartedly tackling weightier issues such as: the 'white gaze,' the isolation that wealthy, black kids often feel at predominantly white private schools, and the balancing act that many feel the need to play as they socially climb and more. One of the most powerful themes of #BlackAF is the clever depiction of what Dr. Cornel West and author Toni Morrison have coined as "paraphernalia of suffering," which is essentially the over-consumption of material things such as cars, homes, and clothing as a means to compensate for generations of emotional and psychological trauma by an oppressive society. The concept of obtaining "new money" is comically depicted with valuable urgency.  Parents are depicted as being open about their flaws, and lessons are learned about racial and social thought patterns. 

While the frequent strong language can be distracting, #BlackAF addresses a serious question that many people of color around the world--especially black people, still grapple with today. "How do you get accepted or navigate in an environment where you are now forced to live with the same people who for 400 years have oppressed you?" The humorous depiction of the "white gaze" is effective. However, many of the tropes depicted are predictable. The images of enslaved people working on cotton plantations, the historical mini-lessons on "peacocking" and "Sunday Best" are enough to keep viewers intrigued even if the messages are redundant. Reference to racial epithets that have a historically negative connotation such as "darkie" and "coon" provide a great opportunity to revisit this part of history with teenagers and even adults. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dynamic of the Barris household. Are the parents traditional or unconventional? Are they role models?

  • The "white gaze" is a major theme throughout the series. What is the "white gaze" and in what way does it affect the Barris household? Are the kids within the Barris household affected by the "white gaze," or just the parents?

  • What role does race play in #BlackAF? What role does perceptions of blackness play within #BlackAF

  • What stereotypes are present within #BlackAF? Are any stereotypes defied within this series?

  • Honesty and communication are two major themes in #BlackAF. In what ways do the Barris children communicate with their parents? In what ways do the parents communicate with their kids?  

TV details

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