I’ve been watching a TV show on NBC lately called This is US, which follows the story of a white family who was about to have triplets, and when one of the triplets dies, they end up adopting a black child who was left at a fire station. It switches off from when the family’s kids are 9 years old and when the family’s kids are 36 years old.

So often in the media when a well-off white family adopts a black child, they are simply seen as saviors and problematic/complex issues of mixed race families are not addressed. However, I think This is Us does a good job of addressing how the white family was unprepared for these complexities and how Randall, the black child, struggles with his own racial identity. When he is 36, he finds his birth father and bonds with him out of feeling incomplete with white adoptive parents. The show addresses problematic aspects of how the family thought that “replacing” a white child with a neglected black child isn’t simple and is problematic, and that black child development is inherently different than white child development.

the ultimate message in this show is that although the parents provided a safe and loving home, there were a lot of things that they couldn’t provide Randall with as a black man because they were white and didn’t understand his experience in the world

This recap demonstrates part of these struggles, starting at 0:10

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One response »

  1. palomapineda19 says:

    Thanks for sharing this show. I’ve noticed the “white savior” role too often in films and it’s great to see something in television that seeks to break this stereotype. I have not seen this show but I’ll check it out!

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