So when the news of a Black family being the focal point of a new comedy series you best believe I was excited. But as more and more information about the show came out many Black people started to lose interest in watching the show for many reasons. One is the way Kenya Barris has a way of packaging his shows around Black people and the second being the surprise appearance of Rashida Jones.

So I am just trying to be honest here. I never knew Rashida Jones was biracial until Black-ish episode titled “Sister, Sister”, where she appeared as Rainbow “Bow” Johnson’s sister and as we knew Bow is biracial. So like a good individual, I did my research on Rashida and found out that not only is she biracial but just like her “sister” Tracee Ellis-Ross, she too was the daughter of an entertainer, Quincy Jones. A lot of people only found out when the trailer for #blackAF came out. That is really concerning.

For a long time, I felt great that a Black woman like Rashida had achieved such great success from The Office to Parks & Recreation but then I felt a little cheated because even thinking about the shows and movies she has been in I remember her racial-ambiguity was often posed as a joke and her being called a “Black Woman” was not really a thing. I mean I felt better than when I found out that Taylor Lautner was just a tan white person but it leads me to the topic of racial-ambiguity and how many people lean into it to help them get ahead. Let’s discuss.

I think Rashida Jones and Chloe Wang (formerly known as Chloe Bennet) are in the same group: For a long time, People of Colour (POC’s) like them, who are more white-facing, leaned into being so because it helped their career. Now that POC-driven content is more popular, the call for diversity in casting being highly pushed by social media and the more woke public, it benefits said individuals to lean back into their “roots” by specifically going for POC opportunities and/or changing their names back. Now normally I would understand where they are coming from but the problem that a lot and even I have with the sudden change in behaviour from these entertainers is that many many POC entertainers are not white-facing and therefore could never vie for the roles that Chloe and Rashida and many other entertainers could. Is this their fault? No, but when there are so few opportunities for even established POC entertainers to obtain Rashida’s and Chloe’s success should feel like a win but it doesn’t. For a lot of people, it is because it solidifies the idea of what white people want in their POC’s. Which is to appear more white. And others believe that those white-facing POC’s should vie for white-written roles because they can and unlike others would be given the opportunity to do so.

So should #blackAF still be considered a win? Honestly, I live in the boat of a win for one of us is a win for us all but Black and other POC creatives should not be surprised when they are taken to task over them not using their influence and opportunities to push non-white-facing POC’s front and centre. Especially because we know that white people are not going to do so or do it justice.

So I am going to watch #blackAF but you don’t have to.