Kay Oyegun, who has written for Queen Sugar and is set to pen the biopic of Angela Davis, is one of the masterminds behind the tear-jerking “This Is Us” roller coaster that has almost everyone on the edge of their emotions on a weekly basis. Oyegun’s pen is assigned to not only the Black female characters, but to every fictional personality we’ve all fallen in love with throughout the series.
At a sit down with a few of the writers of the hit NBC show, I asked how characters were developed and if each writer has one particular assignment. A bit behind the rest of the world, I had only seen a few episodes, yet I wondered if Beth, the black wife and mother was assigned to the Black female writer. To my surprise, the answer was no. At first I was not sure how I felt about this until I realized that my thought process has been conditioned to be limited.
This is not a bad thing. In fact, this is a great thing. Although POC are needed to be a source of representation for other POCs, we, as creators, have the capabilities to be influential in more spaces than those that pertain solely to our own experiences. Because the truth is, the Black experience is expansive; we cannot and should not be contained in a box.
Can you imagine being at a round table, sneezing, and hearing, “God bless you, sis” from a woman you do not know and does not know you, while in the middle of sharing her brilliance? That’s what having a black woman at the table does. It brings in family, it brings in truth, it brings in the nature of our nurturing that makes us and anything we touch stand out. Because she is there, we know we will not be misrepresented. We will not be unheard, and because she is there, every other character has a bit more umph.
Now these are my words, not hers. I am just giving this queen credit and recognition for being a part of one of the most monumental television shows we have seen in several years. We’re rooting for you, sis. And we thank you for championing for us in a real way!