New Netflix series ‘Motown Magic’ grooves through racial barriers


Sam Perkins

Motown Magic is a new Netflix cartoon series that includes many songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

On Nov. 20 the first episode of the new cartoon Netflix series Motown Magic aired. The show instantly had the African-American community raving about the long-awaited young black representation in the mainstream entertainment industry.

One of the main reasons the series has had so much chatter is the fact that the series was written, produced and executed by an all black producing team. On top of that, the series includes many voices of upcoming young black actors trying to get on the scene.

The show features a young boy named Ben, who lives in a fictional city modeled after Motown with bright colors and yellow streets where he searches for his purpose through art and imagination. The soundtrack includes many classic hits including “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “My Girl” by Smokey Robinson and “ABC” by the Jackson 5.

The plot of the first episode explained how Ben went around Motown and was directed by his grandmother to get a magic brush which gave him the power to walk into his own world with a creature he calls “fly girl.” The episode was based around the idea of being confident in your abilities and not doubting yourself.

The main reason why I find this show’s premise idea so substantial is because of the unique light it shines on black culture. All of the characters have traditional black hairstyles like natural afros, wearing 70s clothes and the soundtrack includes all of the music we kids grew up around.

There is such a lack in the entertainment industry of figures for black kids that are not basketball players or traditional stories of coming up in bad neighborhoods. This series shows a black boy with a loving family, a hobby that has nothing to do with sports and the positive nature of a black household.

This show correctly kicks aside the idea of what a black family looks like and what a black boy is supposed to be. It is extremely important for our young black youth to have shows like Motown Magic be typical on television so African-American kids can see themselves in the media simply for representation.

At the end of the day, it should not be a taboo to have a cartoon based around a black family and black culture. Cartoons are known to be prevalent in a child’s childhood and substantial to introducing how young kids view the world around them.

I will be highly anticipating what concepts the next episodes of the series has to offer. I think it is about time there is a show that shines a light on the importance of understanding black culture. I have a lot of hope for this series and I am excited to see what the writers and producers have waiting for us.

I anticipate there to be many more lessons learned and positive messages in the future and I hope people give this show a chance. Because of the show’s individuality and pride, I know it will be received with open arms by the black community.