As usual you give us a cultural and technical guide through mainstream storytelling. I do feel guilty for watching but I am drawn to it every week. The conversation Lucious had with his two sons prior to the last episode was so complex and deals with an issue we have talked about; the issue of leaving behind a legacy for the future generations is epic.
I believe it is true that some Arabic Christians call The God of the Bible Allah, because it is an arabic name for God. But it is not because the God of Christianity and the god of Islam are one. They are not. The God of Christianity is a God of redemption and love, with salavation only possible through the death and resurrection of God's Son, Jesus Christ. I don't think anyone who worships the Muslim Allah would agree that salvation is found in Jesus, nor would they believe that Allah even has a son. There is no reconciling the two. To do so would be to make up a new religion altogether. One who calls himself or herself Christian does so because of belief in Jesus Christ.
Interview with the creator of Empire, Danny Strong:
@Richard I totally get your point as someone who has grown up with the same canned images. My hope is that with Black narratives becoming for popular then with that power the storytellers can be more empowered to challenge the traditional images and narratives they have historically been restricted to using. Thank you for your sage insight and sharing your thoughts!
@ERnest J. Smith You are right that it does play into the notion of riches and fame, which could be misleading given the statistics of how many artist will be successful at that level. I hope it speaks to a more basic aspiration of doing something you love. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
@Irese That is my point exactly. The show Empire due to its success can be a doorway for other shows to enter and start other narratives that explore the unique Black experience. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
@Cole Butler you are right that Hip Hop has cultivated a culture and personalities very much like what we see in the show but again it is good to see how the show challenges some of those traditional narratives. I too am eager to see how the show and its characters evolve.
@Bryon I think again folks are getting caught up in the surface value, Hip Hop etc..and not seeing it really comes down to a family trying to work things out among themselves. Thank you for reading.
@Isis It is true that the Black/Urban experience is one that is very complicated and what is on the surface does not always reveal the layers of struggle underneath. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
@TMarshall I agree it is very entertaining but at the core Cookie is a mother who sacrificed everything for her family. It will be interesting to see how she evolves. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
@Daisean Mills It is interesting that you have that viewpoint. I remember folks having similar reservations when the Cosby show came out. People could not get with such an affluent family although we do have such wealthy people in the community. And historically we have had more shows that deal with Blacks who are middle class and struggling. Good Times, Roc, and most other black comedies. Thank you for your well made points and for reading...1
Wow, I've watched the show and a behind the scenes and there is no way I'll watch another anything Empire. I guess because I am sooo ancient and have watched sooo many tv & movies, I just have no tolerance for Black people continuing to coonin' and shinein' in the media. Just plain tired of it!! While having a talk with some other Empire fans I posed a few simple questions. Why couldn't this be a story about an airline empire, shipping empire or manufacturing empire??? "crickets".... then someone said "cause black folks don't have any of those....."!!! After I controlled my urge to slap da "heck" outta them, I said. "They do in Africa". I then posed the question, before some backward thinking person said "we ain't in Africa", since this is all made up stuff anyway, why couldn't they be one of those empires? "crickets"... The problem is most and far too many Black folks are straight up conditioned to "see us" in about the same size box as a music speaker.(pun intended) And we'z sooo glad to see us on da magical flat screen thingy in our livin' ruum an' dat dar' big white screen over at tat dar' movin' picture place" that we will accept any story line. Why the "heck" would I continue to watch the same ol' crap year after year, after year??? I am thrilled that black folks got some jobs and I'd be interested to see what the complexion of the production crew is, but you can bet this show makes sure it feeds you the same steady diet of darkies makin' music, gettin dat paper, doin' drugs and flingin' hoes. Cause they know most viewers have never considered Black folks doin' anything else and that's the way they want to keep it. God forbid a Black American family start an airline empire cause then other Black folks might even start thinking it could be done!!! "Richard, you mean in real life?? Yes Virginia, in real life"!!! Shows like these keep black folks in their lane fighting among themselves acting like buffoons! As long as YOU Do Not question, why a high budget show like Empire is being produced for consumption, then you will always settle for (Dare I say it) media approved, controlled and sanctioned from a white perspective. Don't be fooled cause there is a Black name attached to it as producer/director/writer!! He knows what side his bread gets buttered. When this show starts doing episode about how White record companies conspired together (like in the real world) and started manipulating this powerful medium of Rap wit mo' money, drugs, hoes, cars, and cribs to get away from delivering positive messages with the new "Idiot Rap" about all of the aforementioned crap, then someone call me... no wait.... they started their company "wit DRUG MONEY"! Sorry never mind, it would be too much like the Kennedy's or Rockerfella's. Not impressed with them either.
I myself am "Team Lucious", being an introvert with my emotions explains why. Empire represents what we young black african americans desire in life, the fortune and fame(recognition) from the hardwork put in on a daily, well for myself at least. I view the show as inspirational. It gives hope tbh. It gives us truth behind what's going on. What we don't see but what we know.
" The real challenge is to have other voices present in the media to explore the rich and diverse experiences within that culture."
This stood out to me the most. We cannot bash this show because it displays some of the negative stereotypes of the Black community. Those are the realities of a lot of people, and the relatability allows the show to provide introspect to our views on these subjects. I don't see this as only a negative representation of a people (like most reality tv shows). I hope that we do get to see more popular series that represent the diverse experiences of Black people. I hope that we can continue to have more Black actors present on television.
@nreedus I definitely feel your pain as someone who has tried to put out quality alternative narratives that challenge and inspire but it seems the masses have been conditioned for a more ratchet palette although I still maintain Empire delivers something fresh in its own way. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
@Marty I agree with you but I also know that many freshman shows need a season or two to get their story legs developed. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
@heath I am glad you will give the show a look and see for yourself.
@Mike Mitch I think many people are just going by the initial premise of the show and not really giving it an honest viewing to see that it is much more than surface. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
I think that the popularity of this show will bring film and tv into its next age. An age where black television is not only entertaining to the masses, outside of comedy, but also competitive with the recurring titles everyone loves so much. I understand what Narcel Reedus meant by it being a reality show with production value, but I also think that it challenges the stereotype that the some have accepted as the "Black American Dream". The same has also happened with reality tv. I was surprised at how many Housewives of Alanta fans didnt look like me. I dont think that this show has any elements that any other drama doesn't, except that it gives a facet of the black experience. I dont believe that it is meant to account for the whole black experience and to be very clear there are black families that live like this in the Music Industry. Let's be honest, Hip Hop has greatly effected popular culture world-wide. I am excited to see more of this show, and I have no doubts that the character development will get deeper than now, since the creator also made the striking dramas Precious and 12 Years a Slave...to rename and name a few. This was a good read.
Ass I read the feedback, I couldn't agree anymore with those who said something already. Empire is a TV show filled with drama and common issues dealing within the black community. Why are people so shocked?.
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