We know that the picture of the life presented in history class, in books, in movies, and pretty much in every part of our lives is a one dimensional sketch lacking colour. From the new Wonder Years, to offerings on Netflix, and cable tv, to the authors being read in school and the teachers teaching them, we are demanding a better richer picture. We want to hear the story from all the voices that make up our country and the world. We want to see the picture in full colour. Recently, I started watching the new Wonder Years and was sent a copy of Memoirs of a Black Girl to watch. These are just two of hopefully many stories that allow me and countless others to revisit shows we knew well that don’t center on the white experience.
The Wonder Years was such a popular show growing up. It was set in a time a decade or so earlier than the one we were living in. It was the story of our parent’s childhood for the most part. It was the story of growing up in the late 60’s early 70’s in the suburbs. It wasn’t a story of childhood in the suburbs in the 1970’s it was the the story of white suburban folks. The new Wonder Years lets us have a look beyond the white story.
Another show I grew up with was Degrassi Junior High. When I was watching the movie, directed by Thato Mwosa, it definitely has that Degrassi feel, but based here in Roxbury and with much nicer cinematography. I love a movie or book with sense of place, especially when that place is part of what I consider home. Memoirs of a Black Girl touches on the complexities of life in high school not in the white suburbs of which there are countless movies and shows, but in the neighbourhood known as the heart of Black culture in Boston.
Memoirs of a Black Girl takes a look at some of the complexities of being Black in America in general but in Boston’s schools and communities specifically as well. The movie shows the layers of angst and expectations. It takes a look at trust, community, teen life, equity, and equality.