I love it when TV shows bring up important issues. Shonda Rhimes is great at doing it on Grey’s Anatomy, and The Resident is focusing in on the broken health care system in the U.S. All American has been subtly doing it since the beginning. With the last few episodes, it’s shining a light on the injustices African Americans are dealing with.
I love that Olivia (Samantha Logan) started a podcast because she wanted to get out of her Beverly Hills bubble and get other people out of their bubbles. She’s grown up in a pretty privileged life, but one trip to Crenshaw showed her the injustices happening to her people. The store owner judged them solely on the color of their skin. All of these kids were good kids. It didn’t matter if they lived in Beverly Hills or Crenshaw. It was frustrating to watch.
If that scene didn’t frustrate you, then you had to be frustrated when Spencer (Daniel Ezra) was shot and in critical condition in the hospital, but the doctors didn’t want to do the same things they would have done for other patients. I’m thankful for the doctor that advocated for Spencer when he couldn’t speak for himself.
Olivia was dealing with prejudices, too, when she was talking to the police officer. The officer assumed that Spencer was in a gang and thought he had both teens figured out, but he was wrong. As an audience, we know he was wrong, and I’m sure you were just as frustrated as I was.
Whether you are aware of this problem because of things you’ve read or seen or if you’ve been living in a bubble just like these Beverly Hills kids, you can speak up. The way you speak up is to vote, especially on a local level. That’s the only way to change how systems run, but it’s much harder to change people’s prejudices. We all have them whether we realize it or not.
The important thing is to keep educating yourself, and it’s a cliche for a reason: treat other’s the way you want to be treated. But it’s an essential rule to live by.
It’s so crucial for TV shows to bring these issues into the storylines. You only change prejudices by showing people and making them understand on an emotional level, and I think it works well with characters you love.
The last couple of episodes of All American have been intense for more than just bringing up these critical issues. A lot is happening, but I’m so glad the storylines can feature these issues.
Predjucies towards African Americans isn’t the only thing the show has brought up. It’s also looking at mental health with Layla’s (Greta Onieogou) storyline. That was another remarkable story to tell. Mental health isn’t the stigma it once was, but it’s still not an easy subject to talk about with your friends or family. It’s essential to continue to talk about it and help people talk about it in their own lives.
These are not political issues, but unfortunately, they’ve become political because of the political climate, and the only way to make a change is to vote. I’m proud of shows that get their audience to talk about these issues and connect with them with the characters they love.
How do you feel about the critical stories All American is telling? What do you think we should be taking from these stories? How do you think we can make a change in our communities?
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