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“Let’s Talk About Boundaries” Black Sitcom Essay


Black sitcoms have been used for a long time to represent the life of black people. This has helped in enhancing the positive image of black people in the contemporary world. This triggers the viewer’s perceptions of racial consciousness on various identities and their image. In antique times, the black sitcoms founded their themes on the white people’s way of life. This was as a result of the unfavorable conditions for the black people at that period. This was a misrepresentation of the black race at that time due to torment afflicted upon them by the white race. It resulted in a representation of black people as violent and unruly in society. Black sitcoms during the 1970s portrayed a positive image of black people. It was vital so as to give the black people a chance to depict a good image of themselves to the white viewers. The shows were also authentic as it highlighted the genuine issues affecting them. Presently individuals are not bound by political issues and racial challenges because of the democratic society. The privileges of the black people are protected, thus enhancing equality standards among all races.

Nevertheless, the show “Let’s Talk About Boundaries,” the character’s actions on spiritual illumination and dissent portray a positive image on black representation. This is because of the society changing the perception of racial interpretation. Alternatively, it represents a negative perception of the life of the black people as the actions are not merely implemented by black individuals and hence do not qualify to symbolize the blacks. The paper tries to analyze the success and failures of the black sitcom, “Let’s talk about boundaries. “

Achievements of the black characters in the contemporary world in the episode “Let’s Talk about Boundaries.”

In the past, the contemporary black sitcoms portrayed failure of the black race than the positive achievements to depict the black community. This was not an authentic representation of the black people as many of them were illiterate and poor at that time. In the ancient times, the society considered the white people as a superior race. News portraying rebellious negative image of the black people was a rampant thing. Contemporary sitcoms provide a good publicity for the black people among the white people. This has been achieved by giving space for the black race to showcase problems affecting them in the world.

Evolution of television in the year 1950 brought about a slight improvement of the situation. The black people were given certain roles such as cooks, criminals and crooners, thus, the film was accepted by the white wealthy audience watching the show. The producer’s main aim when coming up with a few shows that featured the black characters were to offer comfort to the white people that were ardent fans of a programme. This is the main reason why the black ethnicity was given inferior roles. They used these ideas to portray that integration was painless and unnecessary as racial disparity was in the past. The black characters in the shows appearing in the 1970s were quite the opposite as those characters did not all come from the middle class families, and some came from intact families. The sitcoms presented fresh solutions to deal with the struggle of the black representation. In the 1960s, the whitewashing of the programmes took place. Extraordinary shows earmarked major changes in the television programming history. The propagation of the black ethnicity sitcoms came about in the 1970s and brought about two crucial shifts (Compaine & Douglas 2001)

Importance of the black characters in the shows

In the episode, “Let’s Talk about Boundaries”, the television executives as well as the advertisers finally considered that an Afro-American audience as viewers of their programmes could easily be reached by involving them wholly in the programmes. Secondly, they have noticed that the white viewers could be still made comfortable with the inclusion of the black characters which would have new roles. Media imagery is the argument that forms the perception on which racial ideologies emanate from. Afro-Americans continue to face challenges in the media. The urbanization in the contemporary world has resulted in relocation of Afro-American representation in the television industry.

Media houses have proven that they could enjoy more returns from the advertisers by the inclusion of the black race in their programmes. This is because of the ratings of the programmes, such as “Let’s Talk about Boundaries”, which enjoy immense public attention. Representation of Afro-Americans in the television continues to face challenges. When each image receives a lot of attention, it is given to the negative aspect of the show.

The black sitcoms have constantly been used as a double-edged weapon as it is a medium that accepts pertinent issues to be discussed, at the same time, making a situation look more desperate than it is in reality. As a field for research, sitcoms have not been insightful, precise, or practical, and hence there is no need of expectations of finding all these aspects in them. Consequently, the characters played by Afro-Americans are a priority for the Afro-American audience. This is the main reason why it is so important to find the answers to the challenges facing the Afro-Americans.

Success of the black sitcoms

In the television comedy Lets talk about boundaries, humour is used to outline the social setbacks that face individuals in their daily life. Kaci’s dissent is fully approved by his own family unit. At the same time, Carla ,Ms.Hellen together with Gabby attend a retreat to get spiritual illumination, but they are kicked out. Carla solves the interaction challenges involving Helen with Gaby. There is a close link to the authentic middle class family. The props and settings used in the show portray a black upper class family. The characters in the show attend spiritual illumination as a form of relaxation.

The aspect of technological advancement is portrayed in the show as the setting involves various people for example, those found at the retreat. Parents are in full support of their kid’s dissent as they are allowed to protest against any social issue affecting them. This is because of the liberty of speech in the contemporary world. The modern sitcoms portray an aspect of change in the black ethnicity. This is proved by the way, the society view their ideologies. In the past although the black community protested on the social injustices committed against them, it was unacceptable by the society. This is contrary to the present times as depicted in the comedy, Lets talk about boundaries. Change is also portrayed in the show when Kaci joins a recycling course although Kennan feels uncomfortable by his sister new invention (Malik 2001).


Situation comedy such as Lets talk about boundaries has limited functions. This is because the aim of the programme is to offer entertainment to the audience. On the other hand, using such a show to discuss the serious challenges individuals face makes these problems a trivial matter by doing away with the cultural and political inclination. Laughing makes people from diverse culture get to understand the real meaning of the joke, even though other viewers might think of it as a serious matter based on the level of their consciousness. The episode theme involving spiritual illumination and children dissent are the general challenges faced by the society in spite of racial ethnicity. The contemporary sitcoms have the freedom to highlight any issue as the society is now democratic with limited racial undertones. Lastly, the episode brings into focus the contemporary black middle class family by the props displayed and settings used in the show. The situation depicts the present enlightened society.

Works Cited

Compaine, Benjamin M., and Douglas Gomery. Who owns the media?: competition and concentration in the mass media industry. New York: L. Erlbaum Associates, 2000. Print.

Malik, S. Representing Black Britain a history of Black and Asian Images on British Television. London: Sage Publications, 2001. Print.

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""Let’s Talk About Boundaries" Black Sitcom." IvyPanda, 13 Sept. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/lets-talk-about-boundaries-black-sitcom/.

1. IvyPanda. ""Let’s Talk About Boundaries" Black Sitcom." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lets-talk-about-boundaries-black-sitcom/.


IvyPanda. ""Let’s Talk About Boundaries" Black Sitcom." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lets-talk-about-boundaries-black-sitcom/.


IvyPanda. 2020. ""Let’s Talk About Boundaries" Black Sitcom." September 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/lets-talk-about-boundaries-black-sitcom/.


IvyPanda. (2020) '"Let’s Talk About Boundaries" Black Sitcom'. 13 September.

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