Grown-ish (2018) s04e14 Episode Script

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

1 You know the saying when one door closes, another opens? Well, in Aaron's case, when he closed the door on our relationship to focus on himself and his future, the door to his success at Cal U blew wide open.
He transformed the midnight class, once considered a joke, into a spirited, dynamic, and highly coveted collective that came to be known as "The Afro-Salon.
" So, instead of spending time complaining, we have to challenge ourselves further, you know what I mean? We have to get creative and consider this question.
How do we spend less time relying on others to move us forward and spend more time and focus on how we can move ourselves forward? Within just a couple sessions, Aaron's class became standing room only, as word spread across campus that his Afro-Salon was tackling hot topics in a unique environment where Black students felt comfortable baring their souls.
You know what the sad truth is, guys? People are more concerned about not looking racist than actually being racist, right? Why? Because they don't want to call themselves out.
And then in the end, it's us who are left to shoulder the burden and deal with this day after day.
And who else feels like they got to deal with that every day? I'm sorry for interrupting.
- Yeah, it's never - Mr.
Jackson, can I talk to you for a second? For sure.
Is it important? Should I dismiss the class first? No, no, no.
I-I think they might want to hear this.
You have been selected as this year's speaker for Cal U at the national collegiate Uni Talk.
You're serious? Wait.
No, wait.
I got it? In fact, with Aaron's door newly opened, it made way for the biggest opportunity of his life to come knocking.
He had never been more ready to answer it.
Whether it's students being asked for their campus ID when the four white students in front of them weren't.
Or being told by a professor that they were surprisingly eloquent.
All of these transgressions experienced by Black CAL U students - add up to - All right, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.
- You didn't like it.
- Mm.
What you're saying is powerful.
- Okay.
- Yeah? - Yeah.
- I I'm just not - It's not moving me.
- Not moving you? I just I want you to say it with feeling.
I need some emotion.
You know what Mary J.
Blige be singing onstage? She makes all those faces? Mary's in pain.
Okay, we're talking about micro-aggression against Black students at Cal U, not, you know, getting crunk up in this dancerie.
All right, that's a bad analogy.
All right, come come here.
- Peep this.
- All right.
There's this TED Talk by Brené Brown, right? Yo, this White woman, you know, she's talking about vulnerability to my Black ass, and I'm captivated.
I can't look away.
Here look, hold this.
- Brené Brown? - Brené Brown, yeah.
- You see that? - Oh.
She's good.
- Yep.
I can't look away, either.
- She's amazing.
Bro, this is this is what I'm saying, and neither could the rest of the world, bro.
Yo, this speech, yo, it got her to Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday" and it made her a household name.
- Wow.
- Do you want that - for yourself, Aaron Jackson? - Come on.
Dude, what living, breathing human being doesn't want to spend the Lord's day with Oprah? But this bro, this is what I'm saying.
This is why you have to step it up, yo, a-and take your performance more serious.
Yo, you have the words, you have the message.
I'm just gonna need you to sharpen the delivery.
and then you're gonna be on your way to a Super Soul Three-Day Weekend, my boy.
Hi! So, guess who has big news.
Like, Venti big? I'm listening.
So, you know Joey, right? Uh, Bada$$? The S's are actually dollar signs? - Kind of - Yes.
But just you know, I'll never dress the same man twice.
It's It's very bad luck.
It's actually very bad business, but the good news is I am not asking you to do that, because Tyler the Creator, who's friends with Joey Bada$$, is looking for a new line to feature as a collab in his store.
- Fuego.
- Mm-hmm! I'm really glad you think so, because I may have promised that we'd have a new line ready for Tyler to see when he's in town in the next three days.
- Bro, are you crazy? - Yes.
We're, like, maybe three weeks away from an actual, physical line, but three days? That's That's impossible.
Okay, come on.
Luca, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
I could not say no.
Why? Is your mouth broke? - All right.
- I mean, do you have any idea what it'll actually take to pull something like that off? Of course I do, hence the coffee.
I put 16 shots of espresso in there.
Look, let me put it this way between my hustle and your genius, there's nothing Zuca can't do.
All we actually have to do is hunker down, bust our asses, miss a couple days of class, and give up on sleep.
But if you think about it, who really needs sleep, anyway? Come on.
We can do this because we are the dream team.
- What am I looking at? - Oh, hey.
Well, since we both kicked some serious LSAT ass Yeah.
we decided to take a couple days and do a boozy tour of law schools we don't really care about.
Do you want to join? - Yeah.
- I can't.
Because your boy's a working man now.
Oh, that's right.
How's it going? Is that supervisor dude still hounding you for drugs? Hmm? No.
Matt's cool.
Turns out, he asks everybody for drugs, so it's all good.
Well, see? And you were all worried.
Everything's sorted itself out.
Our driver Sinqua is here.
Okay, we're gonna go, and when we're back, I want a full explanation as to why you're wearing a doctor's lab coat.
- Bye! - Bye, bye, bye! "The rigged systems that surround us, be it at a university or at the workplace, won't get fixed until we eliminate the tiny grains of sand that make up the concrete walls of racism.
So, find your tribe.
Find your people.
Share your experiences now.
And in closing, remember this Black don't crack.
And that is how your survive being Black at a PWI.
" Thank you so much.
You're just gonna sneak up on me in the dark like that? We knew you were doing a run-through of your speech, and we wanted a sneak peek.
Yo, dude, that shit was fire.
Renard, language, okay? I'm still your teacher.
Oh, oh, sorry.
- But thank you.
- Can I just say, when you busted out into that "Amazing Grace," That was avant-garde, but very satisfying.
Appreciate that.
Can I speak to you for a second? Be right back, guys.
Was, uh Was it the "Amazing Grace"? It was, wasn't it? You know what? I already got the note.
I can take it out.
Unless you loved it.
We have a much bigger problem than the hymn.
We need to talk about your speech.
The reason you were selected to speak is because of the positive experience you brought to Cal U.
- Mm-hmm.
- But what I just heard focuses on the negative.
Negative? I was just offering some useful tools to Black students on how to navigate life here.
That's all.
The problem is, as Black people, we get so few opportunities to talk about our positive contributions on a platform like this.
You really want to get up there and air your grievances? Man, you have created something amazing for the university.
Don't focus on the negative aspects.
This is your time to uplift what you've done, not drag it down.
I'm not dragging anything or anyone.
I'm I'm relaying truths about what's happening on a day-to-day basis to my students.
That won't be the perception, and the administration cannot allow you to perform this speech as is.
So, if I decide not to change it, then what? Unfortunately, we would have to select someone else to represent Cal U.
So, I guess giving my history of protesting and all that went down last year at graduation, they want to make sure that I'm representing the school in the best light possible.
- Man, that's some bullshit - Language, Renard, again.
I'm sorry.
I'm just saying, they're always trying to censor your friggin' bottom.
Okay, you could've just used "ass" for that one.
Anyways, is it censorship, though, guys? Censorship would be completely banning me from speaking at all, which they're not doing.
Now, I'm not defending them, but this is an amazing platform for me to get to discuss all the work we've been doing with Afro-Salon.
Yeah, but on their terms.
I mean, you're trying to speak to our experiences at a PWI, and whether or not you call it censorship, they're trying to make you give some, like, watered-down version of that experience, telling the story from their perspective and not ours.
That's just It's shady as hell.
Yes, but I'm not saying that it's not, okay? But if I don't alter the speech, I don't I don't get to give the speech.
- So, who cares? - Exactly.
Screw that asshole's ass! Renard, go get some water.
And some bars of soap to wash out your dirty mouth.
Listen, guys, this this is a-a launching pad for me.
It's a huge opportunity.
I just I can't believe you, out of all people, are saying this.
You know, I-I don't even want to say how you're acting right now.
Go ahead.
Say it.
How am I acting? Okay, um, you're acting like someone you would call a sellout.
After convincing Luca we'd be able to meet our crazy 72-hour deadline to complete our first Anti-Muse line, things were going pretty well.
But somewhere around hour 48, the doubts began to creep in, and surprisingly, they weren't from Luca, but from me.
As much as I believe in telekinesis and I do those scissors aren't gonna cut on their own.
I can't do it.
I know you can't.
There are very few of us that still have the gift of the Dark Art.
Just I feel like I'm paralyzed with self-doubt, like one wrong cut, then I mess the whole thing up, but every second I'm not doing it, then I'm I'm pushing us further away from this opportunity.
I'm letting us down.
It's just I don't know.
I don't know.
I feel like I'm losing it.
I'm really losing it, honestly.
Okay, well, let's take a step back, okay? Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and now visualize us being done with our line, all the hard work is behind us.
Now how do you feel? Nauseous.
Okay, and? Hopeless.
And bloated.
Bloated isn't an emotion.
Yes, it is.
Well, how do you want to feel when you look at our completed line? Honestly? Any way other than how I'm feeling right now.
I just want to I don't want to be paralyzed anymore.
Let's get your mind right then.
Dude, if I'm being honest, Kiela has a good point, you know? If I saw someone else in my situation, I'd call them a sellout, too.
These kids, they don't know what you've been through with the university, but I do.
That's why I'm saying this isn't about you selling out.
- It's actually you selling up.
- How's that? 'Cause when you give them the speech that they want you to give, it's still gonna be your words.
So when that shit hits, bro, you get all the power, and you can say whatever you want, get your true message out there, and you go and Obama that joint.
So, at the end of the day, you got to play their game to get what you want.
Look, I see how playing the game could help.
I do, but I just don't think I'd be making the right decision for my students.
They depend on me.
They count on me to be their voice.
All right, bro, well, yeah, I'm counting on you to see the bigger picture.
Yo, this is a huge opportunity, and yeah, okay, whatever, it's not on your terms, but yo, the sacrifice will be worth it, my G.
Yo, you know how you're always talking about how can we move us forward as a people? Yeah.
Well, you making the most of this opportunity is doing just that.
I'mma go back to my pecan pie.
Wait, where is this guy? It says Keviv's here, but I don't see him.
Yeah, I don't know.
- Oh, wait, here.
- Oh.
- Okay.
- All right.
Vivek? Oh, no.
What's going on? I thought you were at work.
Wait, what happened? Why are you driving a ride share? Remember the whole supervisor drug thing? Uh-oh.
Did you sell more drugs and get fired? No, I didn't sell him drugs and I got fired.
I went straight to HR and came out with the truth, you know, about the misdemeanor, about my expulsion, even about my lack of fluency in Cantonese, and you know how they say the truth will set you free? Well, it did.
They immediately set me free.
And that is how your driver Keviv was born.
- It's Vivek spelled backwards.
- Oh, that's clever.
Damn, Vivek, I'm so sorry.
You really should have told us.
Well, I wasn't exactly proud to share the news of my new gig.
After all those years of trashing my dad for driving a cab.
Now look at me.
So embarrassing.
If he wasn't already not speaking to me because of everything else, he'd laugh in my face about this.
It's probably my karma giving me exactly what I deserve.
Hey, we're not being charged for this time, right? When I had a million negative thoughts paralyzing me from moving forward, Luca helped me quiet the doubts, and with the wind in my hair and the weightless feeling every time I hit the top of my swing, I couldn't help but feel capable of handling anything.
How you feeling, Chief? You ready to get to work? Just five more minutes.
What are you doing here? Here to drag me some more? Look, we we were kind of being insensitive, considering what an impossible situation you're in, and and we shouldn't take our frustrations with the administration out on you.
So I'm I'm sorry.
Well, I appreciate you saying that.
Thank you.
And you should also know that what you've done this semester with the Afro-Salon has been transformative for us, okay? So, you've earned this moment.
No matter what version of the speech you decide to give, me and the entire class support you.
Aaron Jackson created what he calls the Afro-Salon.
It's an environment that's given me and other students here the opportunity to speak freely and openly about what it's like to be a Black student a predominantly White institution.
Before this, a-a space like that didn't exist here.
There was no course offered where we could examine our experiences as we're living through them.
So, when Mr.
Jackson was awarded the opportunity to share the intricacies of the work we've been doing, what was at first exciting quickly became a burden, because the administration had a caveat.
The school must be portrayed in a "positive" light.
Unfortunately, that wouldn't be giving you an honest, accurate portrayal of our entire experience.
The Black experience.
Because he couldn't bring himself to read a sugar-coated version of his speech, he asked me to read his original one.
This is a guidebook on "How to Survive Being Black at a PWI".
I've never had a ride share driver walk me to the front door before.
You know, it's both chivalrous and super creepy.
Vivek, can I just say that I'm very proud of you, and I think that what you're doing, making an honest living, is noble.
That's so sweet.
And I bet if you talk to your dad, - he'd be proud of you, too.
- Eh, no way.
You know my dad isn't even speaking to me, so It's been months.
You know they say time heals.
How about you give him a call, give him a chance to surprise you? - Eh - What do you have to lose? Uh hey, Luca? Should I put this trench over the shirt so it feels like we have more of just a complete look? So, one look is bottomless and the other one is flasher? Okay.
Well, I really don't know what our other options are, because they're gonna be here any minute and we have three pieces.
Three pieces just it's not a line.
Yeah, but it's three fire pieces.
- I mean, quality, not quantity.
- You're being nice.
I'm so sorry I put us in such an impossible situation.
- You took a swing.
- And I missed.
Yeah, you don't know that.
I mean, we're still up at bat.
And if they can't tell what we're capable of off of these three pieces, they aren't for us anyways.
Yeah? I mean, look at this coat you made.
You should be proud.
Uh, I think I think that's Tyler's people.
- Mm-hmm.
- We should - You should get the - I should Yeah.
Yeah, the door.
I'm sorry, man.
I just couldn't let my students' experience not be heard.
Yeah, well, the university is incredibly disappointed that you went that route.
Smart to have a kid read it, though.
Can't fire a student for speaking the truth.
They're not gonna fire you.
I mean, the response to the speech was just so positive that they agreed to look the other way.
- For real? - Yeah.
Well, I'm glad that they, uh, you know, decided to do that, but I just I don't think I'm comfortable looking the other way at this university anymore.
So, what are you saying? I don't know.
I guess I'm saying, I think I'm I think I'm done.
Well I don't want to be a grad student here anymore, and that means I have to quit my T.
job, too, so You sure you want to leave the university? I've tried, you know? I've tried to do the whole political thing and make this work, but it's clear that me and this university are consistently on two different pages.
It's really disappointing to hear that.
Cal U is gonna lose a great visionary.
And after all of these years, I, um I'm gonna lose a great friend.
They say when one door closes, another opens.
But when you close a door yourself, it's easy to second-guess that decision.
But as long as you stick to your convictions and stay true to yourself, trust that another door will present itself.
You just have to have the courage to go through it.
We do not have to meet these moments with anger or fear, but we can meet them with grace.
Amazing grace.
Amazing grace.
Amazing grace How sweet the sound You know the words.
Come on.
Sing it.
Previous EpisodeNext Episode