Known for tackling some of the most important and even controversial issues in the Black community, the newest season of “Black-ish” will look familiar but include aspects of how the world has unfolded in the last six months. Fans of the show will witness the Johnson family at the start of the global pandemic. Dre (Anthony Anderson) will try to convince everyone that he is an essential worker--he is not--as he adjusts to working from home while Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross), who is an actual first responder, receives praise from her family for her selfless contributions as a physician.
Now that Pops (Laurence Fishburne) and Ruby (Jenifer Lewis) have decided to take their rejuvenated romance to the next level, Junior (Marcus Scribner) is learning how to date his new girlfriend from a distance while in quarantine. And as for the twins, Jack and Diane (Miles Brown and Marsai Martin), they’ve got to get accustomed to remote learning while navigating personal growth into their separate identities. It is safe to say that life in the Johnson household is entering a “new normal” like so many other American families.
Season 7 of “Black-ish” debuts on Wednesday (Oct. 21) on ABC at 9:30 EST and BET.com sat down with several members of the cast to discuss everything from the upcoming election to surviving coronavirus.
ON THE BLACK VOICE AND THE BLACK VOTE...
“If we don’t come together collectively as a community, we’re not going to get our issues solved. This is the best power that we have as a people. [We have the power] not only in our presidential election but on a community level that is really making changes in our daily lives. I think realizing the power of your voice and what that can do to inspire the person next to you or your homeboy or your friends, to also get out there and vote because collectively as a group we have the power to change the course of this entire election.” -Marcus Scribner
ON LIVING IN THE NEW NORMAL...
“I am back to growing fruits and vegetables in my yard right now. That’s my new normal. It’s just crazy. Never in a thousand years did I think that I would not be able to go out and eat socially with friends and family as I once did. And congregate and hang out with friends, family and strangers.”
“I recently received my star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in a private ceremony and couldn’t be out and celebrate that with the public because of what we’re going through. It’s a change that we all made and it’s our new abnormal. Hopefully, we can get back to some normalcy we’ve been used to.” -Anthony Anderson
ON REVITALIZING A PASSION….
“I have experienced revitalizing my love for many things over and over. [And] more than once or twice revitalizing my love for someone in particular. The coronavirus and its spread across the globe I think it has challenged a lot of people inside of relationships, at least that’s what I’m hearing. Some people are stronger and better for it and other people have decided to go there separate ways but this is the nature of change. This virus has required us to change our behaviors.” -Laurence Fishburne
ON KEEPING YOUR MIND RIGHT...
“I feel like I got a little glimpse of what the real world was like throughout this entire year in general. This pandemic has forced us to really witness all of the stuff that has been going on right now, especially this generation. There are so many ups and downs that I have been throughout this entire thing, whether it be seeing the entire election go on and just watching the presidential debate. I have seen myself get more attuned with everything that’s going on and actually see the actual importance of everything.” -Marsai Martin
ON BEING A PART OF THE SOLUTION...
“The way that I want to go about things when it comes to certain topics [is] I want to be able to have that voice for people who are my age, who can’t speak up or don’t have the platform too. It really doesn’t even matter what it comes to. If it’s any topic that certain kids can’t really get their voice across or point across. When it comes to people that are the older generation, my parents, I know there’s stuff that they’ve been going through for a really long time. We kind of have that advantage with technology and social media to put a stop and take a stand early.” - Miles Brown
ON HOLDING ON TO HOPE FOR THE FUTURE…
“Both me and Miles have very unique platforms where it’s grown people, it’s the aunties, it’s really young kids, it’s everyone from different age groups and generations but we want to tell the older people that there is hope for our next generation and that we are here to take a stand and there shouldn’t be any worries at all of carrying on the legacy that everyone has built for the next years to come.” -Marsai Martin
(Photo courtesy of ABC Studios commissioned work by Kadir Nelson)