17 Oct

The show Girlfriends which is now off the air, is about a group of 4 black women who are all best friends living in Los Angeles. They do absolutely everything together. Joan is a lawyer, Maya is Joan’s assistant, Toni is a real estate agent, and Lynn is the friend that hasn’t exactly found her career yet. She struggles with her own identity because she is adopted and has not met her biological parents but later on the series she does. Each woman has their own struggle whether it is with men, their job, etc. The characters in this show are all black except for a few, Toni’s husband Todd, and Joan’s boss, Mr. Sweetleson. Mr. Sweetleson plays kind of the “ignorant” white man who makes slick stereotypical comments to Joan and other black lawyers at the firm. However, they have no choice but to respect him because he is “the man” and of higher authority. I think he is seen as the “whitebread” in the show because he isn’t knowledgeable of the African American culture but he tries to act like he is by making those comments thinking he knows what he is talking about. In class we discussed the man, the wannabe, and the whitebread when it comes to whiteness. The “whitebread” being the one who is socially awkward and tries to fit in but does not because they are so oblivious to the culture and doesn’t realize it. Todd, Toni’s husband is a white, Jewish man. The group treats Todd as if he were any other man. They don’t disrespect him in any way nor do they mention his race a lot. Toni’s mother,however, does the complete opposite. She makes her comments about him being Jewish and wanting her grandchildren to grow up as a Christian “washed in the blood of the lamb” as she would say. In the Deggan reading, we read about how blacks are often  characterized as the supporting role or the black best friend. In this show, I can’t really apply this because the 4 women are best friends and have substance to their characters.


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