Last week I saw a commercial for Adult Swim's Black Jesus, created by Aaron McGruder who is also the creator of The Boondocks. Before I knew exactly what I was watching, I was giggling at the antics shown, but after the commercial faded to black, I thought...wait, what was that again? A show about Jesus and his crew, living life, acting a fool and smoking weed all throughout the city of Compton. Disrespectful or not?
It's no secret that African Americans have had and continue to have a rough time claiming their space in Hollywood, but this is just something else for the grey suits to say that we create our own foolery without their help. And to have the power as a show creator, which is a position that is not handed out like lollipops along Sunset boulevard to African Americans, I would think this position of power would be used instead to empower versus making a joke out of the Son of God. I mean, couldn't McGruder create a character of his own (yes, he's the show creator) or did he choose Jesus because he knew it would create some controversy?
Black Jesus premiers tonight at 11 PM on Adult Swim. There are a number of petitions and boycotts making their way through social media in protest with hopes of stopping the show before it has a good chance to make its mark. Will it work? That remains to be seen, but my hope is that we wise up to the images and examples we are putting out there and how they make us look as African Americans. If you want to make history and leave a legacy think along the lines of President Obama, Maya Angelou, Steve Jobs, Oprah, Shonda Rimes and Ava DuVernay to name a few. Do you want to be remembered for something powerful or for shucking and jiveing and acting a fool? The choice is yours. The most powerful thing we have is a choice. Use it wisely and think.