This study examines the portrayals of race across generational divides amongst the characters in ABC’s black-ish, specifically the character Pops, Ruby, Dre, Bow, Zoey, Junior, and the twins Jack and Diane. Through the implementation of a textual analysis informed by critical race theory, five episodes spanning the first three seasons of black-ish were analyzed to uncover three primary themes common amongst the episodes. In addition, the work of Michael Lacy and Kent Ono in their book Critical Rhetorics of Race inspired the use of “plural rhetorics” to examine factors outside of communication to understand how race is portrayed across generational divides. The study concludes that race still matters in the post-racial era and it is important to discuss race to better educate society and combat racism. Also identified were the injustices to minorities that are publicized today are not new, they have a long history in this country, and are amplified today due to the fast pace of media in the internet era.


Hester, Scarlett


Communication Studies


African American Studies | Television


black-ish; generational divides; critical race theory; Post-race

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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