VH1’s New Series ‘Growing Up Black’ Documents Black Life In America

VH1’s new docuseries Growing Up Black seeks to capture what it’s like growing up Black in America. 

The six-part series follows Black families across the country, documenting life “by interviewing locals, community members and leaders to explore issues like their personal experiences around systemic racism, what it is like growing up Black in America, and the feelings and experiences around the Black Lives Matter movement today,” according to the official synopsis.  

The first episode follows families in New Orleans who discuss how the renown city shaped who they are and impacted their lives, especially in the 15 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and region. 

The episode opens with words from acclaimed New Orleans visual artist B Mike who is asked, “What does it mean to be Black?” He responds, “To be resilient… it means to come from a legacy of survivors…it means to have a tangible connection to a type of cultural identity.” 

The Studio BE founder continues, “It’s the type of cultural cape you are able to put on without fully being able to access your history. You can tap into some ancient practices here just by being in New Orleans.” 

The first episode introduces proud natives of New Orleans who discuss the celebrated uniqueness of their hometown, deep traditions, and the continuation of legacies. 

“They have a lot of hip places but I guarantee you will not find or be able to go to no city and find a four or five-year-old playing the big tuba with men,” Civil Rights activist and Freedom Rider Jerome “Big Duck” Smith said, adding, “It’s because he doesn’t know his limits.” 

Take a look at the first episode below.

Photo: Getty Images

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