Kenya Barris is not going to throw away his shot to add some major Hamilton vibes to the black-ish Season 4 premiere. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, series creator Barris revealed the new season will open with Dre being frustrated by America's continued celebration of Columbus Day. In true Dre fashion, he will go to great lengths to show his family why they should be focusing on days worth celebrating, like Juneteenth, instead. He'll be doing this with the help of Aloe Blacc, who will guest star in the episode as himself.
Barris was inspired to do the episode when his son told him that Christopher Columbus never actually set foot in America. He told the LA Times,
"He was talking to me about Columbus and said, 'Dad, you know Columbus never actually set foot in North America?' I looked at him and said, 'I think you’re mistaken, son.' I thought he had just read the books wrong. But I started researching it, and I was blown away. Not only did Columbus not step foot in North America, he wasn't the person who discovered the world wasn't flat. His name wasn't even really Christopher Columbus."
That, in addition to Barris' love for Hamilton, led him to write an episode featuring Dre's passionate belief that the country should recognize Juneteenth — the June 19 celebration of the day slavery was abolished in America — as a holiday. In the premiere, fans can look forward to seeing Dre enlist the help of Aloe Blacc to create a song to raise awareness about Juneteenth.
Black-ish already has one Hamilton connection thanks to Daveed Diggs, who appears on the show as Bow's brother. This new anthem to Juneteenth will only increase the connection between these two great American stories. "I've seen Hamilton a ton of times," Barris said in his LA Times interview. "The thing that got me about it is the idea of a historically contextual piece that speaks to what an American story is. That's what black-ish is. It's a contemporary piece that speaks to the texture of what America is."
The Season 4 premiere's ode to Juneteenth and take down of the historical inaccuracies surrounding America's adoration of Columbus is sure to make for another memorable episode. Black-ish never shies away from tackling difficult subjects, like the 2017 election and police brutality, and the premiere sounds like it's going to be another unforgettable outing for the show. And this one will have an original Hamilton-esque song from Aloe Blacc. Now that's how you kick-off a season.