, 2022-09-18 12:24:00,
Of course, sometimes the family consisted of a group of friends, as seen on “Girlfriends.” And other times, the city was in the Midwest, as seen on “Family Matters” (Chicago) or “Martin” (Detroit).
But rarely did a mainstream show featuring Black people take place in the South. And rarely did they portray struggles outside the middle class existence.
A look around recent television offerings, though, points to something new. “P-Valley” on Starz, HBO Max’s “Rap Sh!t,” FX’s “Atlanta,” and OWN’s “Queen Sugar,” the latter two of which both began their final seasons this month, are some of the buzziest shows on TV.
Their characters are not doctors or lawyers — they’re strippers, rappers, farmers, or, simply put, hustlers. And the shows all take place in the South.
Southern stories are not new
Telling Southern stories, though, isn’t new. In some ways, television is simply following the lead of other spaces in culture, said Aisha Durham, a professor of communication who studies Black popular culture at the University of South Florida.
In music and film, the South has been portrayed for decades with nuance and intentionality, Durham said, referencing films like “Eve’s Bayou” and, more recently, “Moonlight” — both movies where the Southern setting, Louisiana and Miami respectively, play a crucial role.
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