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Black Diasporic Delineation: Youngers Clip #1

by jheanelle brown

In addition to class, the multiplicity granted to Blackness is a key difference between U.K. and U.S. television. Yemi, one of the show’s protagonists, is Nigerian-British, the son of Nigerian immigrants (his father is still in Nigeria working). Yemi is an aspiring producer, and one-half of a rap duo with Jay, a biracial rapper who lives with his White father on the estate. Yemi’s mother is nervous about his upcoming GCSE results. The GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is an academic qualification in a specific subject area that operates akin to an entrance exam into college / sixth form (which is equivalent to the U.S. 11th and 12 grades). Yemi get all A’s and is awarded a scholarship to a prestigious college. The well worn hardworking, educated immigrant stereotype is presented as the main characteristic of Africanness on the show. Black characters are generally only African-American on U.S. tv shows, and other segments of the diaspora (Africa and the West Indies), as well as Black immigrant stories, are ignored in lieu of a Black identity that is more understandable and palatable to American audiences. Because of the United Kingdom’s violent history of imperialism, emigration from its formerly colonized territories is common and an indelible part of the its demographic makeup. Various Black identities coexist alongside one another on British television.

Black Diasporic Delineation: Youngers Clip #1

Yemi's mother prays that he does well on his GCSEs.

from Youngers (2013)
Creator: Benjamin Kuffuor; Levi David Addai; Channel 4
Distributor: YouTube
Posted by jheanelle brown