PHOTO CREDIT: Nydailynews.com
So, I wasn’t going to watch the series Power
but my family was watching a marathon this weekend and I got pulled in. There are some great actors, some strong writing and some racy scenes. While I’m not here for Black folk playing drug dealers and men leaving their families for other women, I do enjoy one element of the show more than anything else.
James AKA Ghost speaks Spanish.
I always nerd out when a Black character does this on television.
Now, it wasn’t stated that James was Latino but Ghost’s mother-n-law asked the wife “How does he know Spanish?” So here is clear that his skills were considered a “different” trait for a Black man. Although, we know that plenty of Black men speak Spanish. This scene led me to believe he was African American.
But back to Ghost.
As a drug dealer, Ghost works with Spanish-speaking dealers and the exchange of the language is more than the simple “Hola”. His colleges have full blown dialogue with him in fluent Spanish. His trait is powerful because it speaks to the diversity, enginuity and ingeniusness of the Black diaspora.
I wonder what made the writers of the show pick that trait? It reminds me how Phylicia Rashad spoke Spanish and Portuguese during some episodes of THE Cosby Show. I don’t know why they didn’t keep that. The classic missed the mark with that but bilingualism is a MAINSTAY in Power.
Seeing Black bodies, especially African Americans and Afro-Latinos, use languages besides English always captures my attention. I cannot relate to the main character’s job but I get his use of his second tongue.
But this is really nothing new.
African Americans been on this language learning and Spanish-speaking tip. Afro-Latin@s been causing folk to question the lines between race/ethnicity.
It is just now that the media is catching up to reality.
Thank you Power for doing just that.
© JELISA JAY ROBINSON AND BLACK GIRL, LATIN WORLD, 2015