Damilare Sonoiki, 24, writer for the hit ABC TV show Black-ish, is branching out with his own comedy series about being black in America.
African Booty Scratcher follows a Nigerian family who tries to find their place in the U.S. while teaching their son traditional cultural values.
The show chronicles everything from having your name mispronounced to getting yelled at for bringing home a B on your report card.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned from ‘Black-ish,’ like the central premise…is that you’re taught to give your kids more than you have but in giving them more, what do they lose?” says Sonoiki. “The immigrant story is that exact same situation.”
Sonoiki, a Nigerian-American, grew up in a violent Houston neighborhood and says his own life experiences inspired the show. He went on to graduate from Harvard and worked on Wall Street before moving to Los Angeles to become a writer.
But Sonoiki says he’s learned there is more to being black and successful in America than pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
“Sometimes people try to reduce it to immigrant work ethic…but there are certain structural things that limit opportunities,” says Sonoiki.
In an interview with theGrio’s Natasha Alford, he talks about his show’s controversial title, the greatest lesson ‘Black-ish’ taught him, and how ‘African Booty Scratcher’ could break down existing divisions between Africans and African-Americans.
Check out the show’s hilarious pilot trailer and donate to the Kickstarter campaign here:
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed.