Regardless of our dating or even sexual preferences, black men and black women are inextricably tied—by history, by culture, by blood, even by disdain and death at the hands of law enforcement.
And so, in what is an interesting twist of fate, it looks like the upcoming seasons of two remarkable shows, one created by a black man and one by a black woman—Donald Glover’s Atlanta and Issa Rae’s Insecure—are going to explore the notion of masculinity and the inner lives of women, but from the “opposite” perspective.
Fresh off the success of season 2, Robbin’ Season, Atlanta writer and producer Stephen Glover told the Hollywood Reporter that the seminal show’s new season will focus more on women.
“I think we have some cool ideas in season 3 that’ll put some more women on-screen,” said Glover, brother of the show’s star and creator, Donald. “There’s a very specific perspective from the Atlanta woman that I think we’re gonna explore in season 3.”
Currently, there is only one woman writing, Stefani Robinson, and one female lead, Zazie Beetz, who plays Van, on the critically acclaimed show.
On the flip side is Rae and Insecure. The actress and producer recently revealed that she will tackle (toxic) masculinity in her upcoming season.
“I love black masculinity as it relates to black women,” said Rae in a recent interview with Newsweek. “I think that’s something interesting that we haven’t gotten a chance to explore yet—and specifically toxic male black masculinity as it relates to black women. I’m trying to find a way to explore that and get a rounded storyline that isn’t preachy.”
Of course, the trolls got wind of that and kicked all sorts of conspiracy theories as to how Insecure is intent on bringing the black man down:
But actor Jay Ellis, who plays Lawrence on Insecure, had a sound clapback for that:
Although the two subjects—toxic masculinity and more storylines for women—are false equivalents in some ways (black women are subject to racial and gendered oppression), it’s a beautiful thing that both shows are stepping up to explore gender roles and visibility on-screen.
And wouldn’t it be cool, as The Root Deputy Managing Editor Yesha Callahan said, if they did a crossover ep? Maybe where Paper Boi, Earn and the team come to Inglewood, Calif., to kick it with the Insecure crew? Hmmmm.