“Black-ish” Season 4 will kick off with a “Hamilton”-inspired installment.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the musical episode will take a shot at the holiday celebrating Christopher Columbus, as well as the Juneteenth. The latter is a celebration that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States on June 19.
While speaking with the publication, show creator Kenya Barris explained why he decided to include a “Hamilton”-inspired episode in Season 4. “I’ve seen ‘Hamilton’ a ton of times. The thing that got me about it is the idea of a historically contextual piece that speaks to what an American story it. That’s what ‘black-ish’ is. It’s a contemporary piece that speaks to the texture of what America is,” he said.
In Season 4, episode 1, the Johnsons will attend Jack (Miles Brown) and Diane’s (Marsai Martin) school play about the Columbus Day. Dre (Anthony Anderson) will be dismayed over the inaccuracies regarding the historical context of the holiday and how it will be presented by his children and their schoolmates.
Dre, who feels that there are not as many black holidays as there are white ones, seeks the help of singer Aloe Blacc. The latter will help Dre come up with a catchy song to help them raise awareness about Juneteenth.
Meanwhile, Barris also revealed that the premiere episode was inspired by one conversation he had with his son over the summer about Columbus. “He was talking to me about Columbus and said, ‘Dad, you know Columbus never set foot in North America?’ I looked at him and said, ‘I think you’re mistaken, son.’ I thought he had just read the books wrong. But I started researching it, and I was blown away. Not only did Columbus not step foot in North America, he wasn’t the person who discovered the world wasn’t flat. His name wasn’t even really Christopher Columbus,” he said.
Barris noted how people have been taught things incorrectly about Columbus, and he couldn’t help but wonder why there is an event that celebrates him. On the other hand, slavery really did exist, but no one was executed for it. “The idea of honoring the end of slavery gives us something that brings us together as a country,” he said.
“Black-ish” Season 4 will premiere on ABC on Oct. 3 at 9 p.m. EST.