A Piece of Home

by Alsherrae’ Ray

One of the main shows buzzing around TV right now (almost overshadowing the beloved Empire), is Donald Glover’s Atlanta. Deputing in September, the show exceeded viewer’s expectations. From the trailers, it was bound to be something amazing.

I was one of those people who constantly retweeted every trailer and corresponding tweet about what soon became my absolute favorite show. Now, every single Tuesday I get off work at 9:00, rush back to my place, shower as quickly as possible, get on the phone with my boyfriend, and together we watch Atlanta.

I’m from College Park, and being an hour and a half away at college induces homesickness, as it should.

Watching Atlanta brings me back to that sense of home that I miss sometimes. In fact, there are several scenes and places in the show that I actually recognize.

In an interview, Donald Glover emphasized that the Atlanta that he has created isn’t the exact same as the large metropolitan Georgia city. He merged the real city with his fictional version to create this perfect harmony that still manages to capture the essence of the culture of Atlanta.

Earnest “Earn” Marks, played by Donald Glover, is a college-dropout who is only looking to not be a struggling Black man in this society. He has a daughter with Vanessa, “Van”, and currently lives with her, despite their awkward and complicated amorous relationship. She mainly supports the family while Earn tries his luck in several attempts to make it out of poverty.

His cousin, Alfred, is now an up-and-coming Atlanta rapper by the name of Paper Boi. Earn becomes Paper Boi’s manager and with the help of Darius, the pothead friend of Paper Boi, the three start their climb through the Atlanta rap scene.

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Atlanta is the perfect mix of the appreciation black culture and its criticism. It celebrates black people but also shows that we have a lot of work to do. Yes, we have our black-owned businesses, our music and our dances, but we also have to deal with poverty, drug-use, and the stereotypes that still influence a lot of our culture today.

We can “hit-them-folks” all day long, but there are still young black men who are being gunned down in the streets from senseless police violence. Donald Glover, incredibly aware of this, has taken every problem and triumph from the Black community and given us this masterpiece.

Watch Atlanta on FX on Tuesdays at 10:00pm. Trust me. It’s worth it.

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