Donald Glover has been receiving nothing but praise for his new hit televison show, Atlanta. The drama gives viewers an honest look at what’s like to be an aspiring musician from the A and many other aspects of black culture. This week, Atlanta debuted its most powerful episode so far — titled B.A.N. — and it was composed of various tv commercial spoofs relating back to stereotypes in the African American community.
One particular spoof that we keep rewinding is an animated commercial involving a fictitious cereal named “Coconut Crunchos.” It centers around the numerous incidents of police brutality on blacks caught on video in recent times. We see three black children walk into a tomb and discover the Coconut Crunchos cereal — when a mummified wolf tries to steal their meal. A cop that accompanied the children immediately apprehends the wolf by slamming him to the ground and constantly repeating “stop resisting arrest” — while continuing to use brute force on the wolf.
Even with their cereal in danger, the children get very sympathetic for the wolf as they see he is only hungry and trying to eat. The children record the cop doing his “job” and try to talk him into letting the wolf go, but things get suspenseful when the cop gets aggressive with the children, even referring to them as adults with his phrase “let me do my job, I said back up, sir. (to a little girl).”
This commercial spoof reminds me of a Richard Pryor sketch from the 80s. In the clip, we see Pryor and three white archaeologists enter a lost tomb and discover the Book of Life. While Pryor is reading and learning about how all the people who created Egyptian history were actually black. Then the white excavators start to get suspicious looks on their faces and slowly leave the tomb with intentions on bulldozing it to destroy whatever records of black history were docuemented.
Overall the concept of getting the truth out to the black community is what is accomplished with both sketches (and more!). We are very appreciative of the message Atlanta is sending out, and for they risks Donald is taking in doing so.