While ABC Shelved Its 'Black-Ish' Kneeling Episode, 'Queen Sugar' Tackled The National Anthem Protests Head-On
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While ABC Shelved Its 'Black-Ish' Kneeling Episode, 'Queen Sugar' Tackled The National Anthem Protests Head-On

ABC is still reeling from the controversy surrounding the network not airing a black-ish episode that tackled the NFL's national anthem protests.

While ABC shelved the black-ish episode, the Queen Sugar season 3 premiere on OWN had a compelling story arc about high school students kneeling for the anthem.

The episode featured four black students kneeling during a high school basketball game as a form of peaceful protest.

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Not only did it feature the students kneeling but showed opposition from white people in the crowd who hurled hateful things at the students and held up a Confederate flag.

The protesters were removed from the game by security as black players on the home and opposing teams began kneeling with them in solidarity.

Later in the episode, Nova (Rutina Wesley) meets with the students removed from the game, and they say that they are trying to bring attention to injustices in their town.

This looks like just the beginning of the show tackling this issue, which it has done with a great measure in its first two seasons, in the third go-round.

In season 3, the Bordelons are continuing their fight to save their family farm and father’s legacy as they navigate their own personal journeys. They soon find that their fight extends beyond their close-knit family to the community. Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) remains in the thick of the trials and tribulations in both her personal and professional life as she continues to battle the Landry family while also trying to ensure Micah’s (Nicholas Ashe) safety and future. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) is still reeling from learning from Darla (Bianca Lawson) that he might not be the biological father of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchison), and attempts to push forward as the new cane season begins. A new and unexpected love in the form of an old friend comes into Nova’s life and challenges her long-held notions of relationships while also offering her something she didn’t think she could ever have.

For this season, the show continues to enlist its all-women directorial team assembled by Ava DuVernay, which includes DeMane Davis, Nijla Mu'min, Patricia Cardoso, Shaz Bennett, Maria Govan and Lauren Wolkstein. Many of them will be making their television directorial debut.

Queen Sugar was named Television Show of the Year by both American Black Film Festival (ABFF Honors) and African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) for the second consecutive year and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Best Drama Series.