“Where’s the black Liz Lemon?” Issa Rae asked herself as she looked for someone she could relate to on television. Mainstream audiences and even some within black culture have forgotten the lessons of The Cosby Show.
Audiences have shown themselves more comfortable with the sassy rude sister at the office or the sassy black friend at school. The non-threatening, supportive black friend at the bar or the pistol packing grandma who will knock some sense into your head are far more recognizable than a black Liz Lemon from 30 Rock. Smart black chicks with wry wit? Say what now?
Unfortunately, if black comics try something different, like Donald Glover in Mystery Team (2009), then they’re accused of “trying to be white.”