'Blackish' Election Special Part 1: Matthew Cherry's tribute to late John Lewis hits fans 'right in the feels'
With just a month to go for the 2020 Presidential elections, ABC aired a special two-part episode for 'Blackish' that focused on election and voting issues a bit earlier than the sitcom's seventh season arrives. The seventh season of 'Blackish' will only premiere on October 21, however, the two-part special directed by Academy Award-winning Matthew Cherry ('Hair Love') gave viewers an early look at how the following season might look.
The first part focuses on Andre "Junior" Johnson Jr (Marcus Scribner) learning about the real history of democracy in the United States after he learns that he has been purged from the voter rolls just as the episode starts. Junior is pretty upset and seemingly takes the situation more seriously than his father Andre "Dre" Johnson (Anthony Anderson) as he sets out to learn more about the situation.
However, on learning of all the ways in which minority voters have been blocked from the polls throughout the history of democracy in the United States, Junior becomes disillusioned with the voting system and decides to give up. This is when Dre (who had been narrating the episode) shows up and tells Junior that he cannot give up and that the country has only changed for the better when more people vote.
To do this, he invokes the late US Representative John Lewis who was a pioneering civil rights activist and called for "good trouble". The episode does it in a very special way, using former President Barack Obama's eulogy to show how democracy is not automatic and needs to be nurtured. Viewers found the tribute to Lewis moving and inspiring.
One fan wrote, "'If you don't do everything you can do to change things then they will remain the same. You only pass this way once. You have to give it all you have.' Excuse me, this episode of #Blackish is making me emotional. #JohnLewis #Obama." Another tweeted, "John Lewis...my heart! [heart emoji] #blackish Dammit, I hate the everyone doesn’t watch this!"
"If you don't do everything you can do to change things then they will remain the same. You only pass this way once. You have to give it all you have."— Katella Stegmann (@KatellaStegmann) October 5, 2020
Excuse me, this episode of #Blackish is making me emotional.#JohnLewis#Obama
John Lewis...my heart! 💔 #blackish— Kamilah :) (@Kamilah81) October 5, 2020
Dammit, I hate the everyone doesn’t watch this!
The John Lewis tribute was a perfect way to end an episode that pointed out all the flaws of American democracy. A fan tweeted, "#blackish just hit me right in the feels with these John Lewis clips. #GoodTrouble #vote," while another wrote with a GIF of Dre sobbing from the show, "Seeing Rep. John Lewis & Obama during that montage #blackish." A viewer shared, "That was a beautiful nod to Congressman John Lewis. #Blackish."
That was a beautiful nod to Congressman John Lewis. #Blackish— ʀᴀʏ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴊʀ. (@RayLoveJr_) October 5, 2020
'Black-ish' election special aired on ABC on Sunday, October 4. Season 7 of 'Black-ish' will premiere on ABC on Wednesday, October 21, at 9.30 pm EST.