Season one episode seventeen of Everybody Hates Chris was an eye-opening episode in terms of analyzing the black family dynamic. Growing up in Brooklyn, in the 1980s, Chris was exposed to a strict family dynamic with parents who grew up during the civil rights movement. Rochelle, Tichina Arnold and Chris’s mother in the series, represented a black woman who was very observant of her kid’s actions and (in a very overexaggerated way) would always put them in check if they were doing any common thing that any child would do (e.g. like opening the refrigerator for one second too long). These bold actions are calling a statement to how cautious and thrifty black parents had to be living in an underprivileged community, living paycheck to paycheck, while at the same time trying to protect their kids and expose them to a strong family foundation.
Chris Rock, as a director who is expressing his experiences growing up in a lower-class black neighborhood, created this humorous interpretation of his real-life family while drawing attention to real life social issues in the black community. This episode showed the black family dynamic, despite their arguments and their conservativeness, having love for each other and making time for family moments. Everybody Hates Chris provides television with a positive representation of a black family, despite the tough times that they go through, Chris has two loving parents who he can go to and feel love from. The way that Rochelle acted as a strong black woman who was not broken by the death of her father, shifting her strict personality to being super cool, calm, and collected, represents how black people have had to pretend to keep it together throughout history (especially in times of tragedy). The black community has faced so much tragedy that we have had to adapt to circumstances and provide hope for the entire family.