The internet is a buzz with news to new Issa Rae projects, and this is incredible news that the audience for the award-winning television series have grown to be so infatuated with the program. However, there is a troubling aspect to "Insecure" and Issa Rae’s fame is the possibility of it being a trend. The fear of trend also possibly effects the recent upwelling of television series surrounding black characters and created by African Americans.
The 90s were a period of progress for the diversity on television. The main reason for this being the network UPN (United Paramount Network), which broadcast such as Moesha, The Parkers, One on One, etc. These shows brought audiences authentic black characters with story arcs that weren’t laced with stereotypes. Then the cease of operations of the company lead to many of the shows to either disappear or find other networks to take them up.
Throughout the beginning of the new millennium ushered in a wave of television that was as diverse as the cast of Friends. The movement for black television had lost its momentum, and most of the roles for African American actors had devolved into stereotypes or typecasting, which the fear that many creators have for the future of diversity on television. If it can be undone once, who says it can’t again?
Further on, the issue of diversity characters who are not only black but fall into other intersections, should be a priority. Issa Rae, as a creator of color, pushes for narratives that are inclusive of all people. In fact, the two new series that are being created for HBO, a series about a black family in the 90s and another about a bisexual black man, could be the step in the right direction for people of color on television, but only time will tell if this is a lasting change.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the Black TV Renaissance is the need to keep it in the collective consciousness of viewers worldwide because if the desire for narratives depicting a diverse amount of people is a widely held one, the push for diversity will literally feel like an afterthought. Issa Rae’s success doesn’t have to be a fad, it just takes individuals to utilize their rights as consumers of content to choose to watch programming that is created by, written by, and directed by people of color.
Consequently, the push for diversity on television will also encourage and give hope to children who see people like them on television or working behind the scenes that someday they could be a part of the media in some way. Creators of color are reshaping the media culture, and that influences young people of color to continue to change the world.