When I first heard about Mixed-ish actually being a show was on Facebook. ” Friends” on Facebook “were like, why do we need a Mixed-ish show?” I was kinda offended by the comments. I felt like why not a Mixed-ish show? Why This TV Show Means so Much to Me. I hate to admit that darker-skinned blacks think being lighted skinned gives us a pass. That is why this show means so much to me. Because being mixed race and light-skinned is hard too.
Well before I heard the show was coming to T.V., I was invited to speak on a panel about colourism. As I talked about how it felt to grow up mixed-race in New York. My darker-skinned sisters were surprised to hear that I was bullied in my childhood. The streets were not paved with gold for this mixed-race girl.
Why This TV Show Means so Much to Me
I was bullied about my hair. Bullied about my skin tone. And the worst of all, I was always told that I spoke like a white girl. Which was not meant as a compliment. I did not grow up in the hood and was educated, but sometimes it was used against me because I was not your typical black girl.
I am mixed race, and often we are asked to choose a side. How could I, being of Native American descent, Afro-Carribean descent, Irish descent, Welsh descent, and Afro Latino Caribbean descent. How could I choose? I grew up with all of these customs in the household. Why did I have too?
Mixed-ish Is About Inclusion
I grew up upper-middle-class New York. Brought up by an immigrant grandmother. An aunt with a P.H.D from Columbia University, and an uncle with a Masters from NYU and P.H.D. from Columbia. I was raised with black intelligence. Yet, I always felt I had to apologies for being light-skinned with a chance to succeed more than most.
One lesson I was taught at home was not to rely on my looks. Education was vital, and at the end of the day even though you may be light-skinned, you still need an education. Yet, this young lady loved fashion too. My aunt taught me that if I could walk the walk and talk the talk know one had to know where I came from.
Another component growing up was literature and reading the right books, magazines and newspapers. I was taught at an early age etiquette and how to read the paper version of the New York Times. Which meant knowing how to fold it the paper so that you could read it by each column neatly. This is how I would lean to mix my love of fashion and literature.
This would be all my little secrets because I never fit in because I was mixed race and had a different upbringing. I did not fit in the model of black culture in American even though I too loved hip hop. These are also the reasons why the Mixed-ish show means so much to me.
Finally in 2019 not since The Cosby show has there been a T.V. show that I can relate too. Each week I wait for the latest episode, and each week one of the storylines could have been from my own childhood or adolescent dairy entries. They bring back memories even to an episode in my own life. Like when my real light-skinned older brother came home and asked: “Why am I not Black”. He was heartbroken.
Luckily my aunt handled it. She was the main person in our lives responsible for teaching us about black culture on both sides. She introduced us to hip hop. I remember the day she called to tell me the poet died Tupac Amaru Shakur. She was crying.
Fashion is still fickle and the idea there can be only one of us regardless of shade always leads. But, now a T.V. show with all of us. But the mixed-race light-skinned girls get to tell our story. We have our own issues too, and this is what life is like for us. We were teased and bullied on our journey for it.
The stories are now told.
Mixed-ish is an American single-camera sitcom created by Kenya Barris, Peter Saji and Tracee Ellis Ross. It debuted on ABC during the 2019–20 television season as a Tuesday night entry and premiered on September 24, 2019. The series is a prequel spin-off of Black-ish and the second series to be spun off from the original series after the series Grown-ish.
It is based on the early life of Dr Rania Barris co-creator Kenya Barris’ wife. The T.V. series chronicles the first years of Rainbow Johnson as she recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the 1980s. The family faces dilemmas over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves when Rainbow’s parents moved from a hippie commune to the suburbs in 1985.
About the Characters in Mixed-ish
- Arica Himmel as Rainbow “Bow” Johnson, a teenager who is coming into her own while embracing her biracial heritage.
- Tracee Ellis Ross as adult Rainbow Johnson (narration), who details her background and actual real-life events in the episodes.
- Tika Sumpter as Alicia Johnson, Bow’s mother.
- Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Paul Johnson, Bow’s father. Paul was played by Anders Holm in the pilot.
- Gary Cole as Harrison Jackson III, Bow’s grandfather
- Christina Anthony as Denise, Bow’s aunt, a Tennesseean who is unafraid to express her African-American heritage. Her idea of culture is “influenced” by 227 and Eddie Murphy, even though she tends to be stereotypical towards the family’s biracial lifestyle.
- Mykal-Michelle Harris as Santamonica Johnson, Rainbow’s baby sister with a sassy attitude.
- Ethan William Childress as Johan Johnson, Rainbow’s brother, who has started to adopt a street culture attitude.
What it and learn a new story of black life from different eyes. As well the mixing of cultures and a new definition of whiteness too. How cannot wait until they do a hair episode? 2020 is about inclusion and Mixed-ish is filling the cultural gap for us.