Text Review: All American (Season 2)

The tv series, All American, takes place in California, mainly in the areas of Crenshaw and Beverly Hills. The show is based on a real story about the life of a football player, Spencer James, who is trying to make it professional, all while dealing with the issues with his home life and the issues of a black man. He grew up in the city of Crenshaw around a lot of gang violence and drug culture, all while his dad left him when he was a little kid. To make it big, he moved to a new high school in Beverly Hills, with a completely different atmosphere than what he was used to in Crenshaw. In Beverly, there is rarely ever gang relations and not a lot of struggle amongst those who live there. This is where Spencer began to experience some of the injustices that he was not always faced with in Crenshaw. A main example was when him, and a few of his teammates and friends went to a frozen yogurt shop. This shop was owned by a white woman, whom after Spencer and his little brother had a dispute then told him along with all his friends to get out. In this encounter, she called them all as “you people” became majority of them were black. Directly after this happened, police showed up to the shop and proceeded to tell them to show ID because an owner said there was a person loitering that fit their description. Along with this, one of the officers asked if Spencer was in a gang because there were gangs in the area. This entire encounter was a prime example of racially profiling. It shows two positions of power, a business owner along with the police system, using this power to profile and harass them because they fit the description of what they believe black people are, which in this scenario are troublemakers and gang members. This instance relates to a concept we previously reviewed of Martin Luther King jr. because even though he prided himself on non-violence he constantly faced profiling and discrimination from authorities and others who did not agree with him because he was black. This led to him facing assault from these positions of power and being thrown in jail because of the marches he held. I think the creator of All American, April Blair, wanted us to realize all the injustices that happen in the world even if they may not directly affect us. Along with this I believe Blair wanted us to question why these types of things happen so regularly and how can we work together as a nation to become educated and put an end to it? This show inspires conversation regarding identity, power, and injustice by showing how even in such a wealthy and well-regarded city as Beverly Hills has many of these issues, along with so many other places in the US, such as the place where the viewers are living.

 

Works Cited:

All American, created by April Blair, season 2, Berlanti Productions, CBS Television Studios, Warner Bros. Television, 2019.

Robinson, Abby, and David Opie. All American Season 2 – release date, plot, cast and everything you need to know. 09 September 2019, Digital Spy, All American Season 2 – release date, plot, cast and more (digitalspy.com).

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