“Black-ish” Celebrated Culture and Tradition Through Ruby’s Wedding Dress

“We’re gonna do the traditions we missed the first time,” says Earl a.k.a. “Pops” (Laurence Fishburne), the Johnson family patriarch on Black-ish, about his impending marriage to ex-wife Ruby (Jenifer Lewis). Then in Pops true form—with perfect comic timing and a mischievous smile—he adds, “…including keeping our vows.” 

Sure, the Johnsons’ re-do nuptials, which have been a long time coming, take place in the upcoming episode of the ABC hit comedy. But Pops’s sentiment applies to real life, too. Because encore weddings—whether to a former spouse whose boat you may or may not have blown up or a partner to embark on a new life stage together—allow optimal opportunity for confident self-expression and a full celebration of heritage and culture. It’s the time to fully be yourself, without all those added pressures from the first time around.

For proud Black Americans, Ruby and Pops—who lived through the Civil Rights movement, and raised son Dre (Anthony Anderson) to become a successful advertising exec, now bringing up his own family with his doctor wife Bow (Tracee Ellis-Ross)—a celebration of heritage through wardrobe was an integral (and scripted) part of their second wedding. 

In the episode, Ruby commissions a Kente cloth wedding dress with “angel wings” from a designer who supposedly created looks for a famous celebrity (hint, hint: Black is King). In real life, Ruby’s ensemble was created by veteran costume designer Michelle Cole. Obviously, her overzealous angel wings idea was ditched but the final look was something really special.

ABC/Richard Cartwright 

For seven seasons, the show is lauded and appreciated by fans for its ongoing mission of teaching important history, often neglected from school curriculums, and honestly addressing issues facing Black Americans today. The Johnson family micro-wedding—social distanced and outdoors—also reflects the realities of celebrating major life moments during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.

“In the midst of all of this, these two people get married,” Cole tells Brides on an early morning call while driving to set. “With all the hardship and challenging times—and everything that we’re going through—life still does move forward. In magazines and on my Instagram, I saw people still getting married!”

However, planning fake nuptials is still a massive undertaking, especially when it comes to the wedding dress. Usually, a bride enjoys six months to a year to find, buy, and tailor a wedding gown. But Cole and her team had approximately two weeks to build Ruby’s stunning African Kente cloth ensemble. Luckily, Cole, who simultaneously designs creator Kenya Barris’s two other shows, Grown-ish and #BlackAF, along with her key costumer and Project Runway season 11 runner up, Stanley Hudson, are used to excelling under extreme time pressure.

Cole, who earned three of her seven Emmy nods for Black-ish, first dove into research for African nuptials and traditional dress. She also drew from her past experience costume designing ensembles speaking to heritage and cited The Bernie Mac Show and In Living Color, on which she received her first four Emmy nominations. “We’ve always

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Danny Glover to guest star in ‘Black-ish’ wedding episode

Nov. 3 (UPI) — Danny Glover will guest star in the upcoming wedding episode of Black-ish.

Entertainment Weekly reported Monday that Glover, 74, will appear in the show’s Nov. 18 episode, titled “Our Wedding Dre.” The episode will feature Earl “Pops” Johnson (Laurence Fishburne) and Rubeline “Ruby” Johnson’s (Jenifer Lewis) wedding.

Glover will play Pops’ brother Uncle Norman. The character is an unexpected guest who causes Dre’s (Anthony Anderson) intimate wedding plans to go awry.

In addition, Ruby (Lewis) refuses to let Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) help her prepare for the wedding until an unexpected situation gives Bow an opportunity to remedy the issue.

Black-ish confirmed Glover’s guest spot in a tweet Monday.

“We’re so excited for @mrdannyglover to guest star on #blackish for Pops and Ruby’s wedding!” the post reads.

Glover and Fishburne previously co-starred in the 1985 film The Color Purple, based on the Alice Walker novel.

Black-ish returned for a seventh season on ABC in October. Series creator Kenya Barris and the cast, including Ross and Anderson, pushed for ABC to bring back the show in the fall, rather than in spring 2021.

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Black-ish invites Danny Glover on as an unexpected guest at Pops and Ruby’s wedding

Richard Cartwright/ABC

The long-awaited Black-ish wedding between Pops and Ruby is getting an extra-special attendee.

Not only is the ABC sitcom bringing on veteran actor Danny Glover as a guest star in the upcoming episode “Our Wedding Dre,” it’s welcoming him into the family.

In a move that reunites him with his The Color Purple costar Laurence Fishburne, Glover will play Pops’ brother Uncle Norman, an unexpected guest who causes Dre’s intimate wedding plans to go awry.

Dre (Anthony Anderson) isn’t the only one having trouble, though. Elsewhere his mother, Ruby (Jenifer Lewis), refuses to let Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross) help her prepare for the wedding until an unanticipated situation provides an opening for her doctor daughter-in-law to remedy the issue.

Richard Cartwright/ABC

Black-ish showrunner Courtney Lilly previously teased the wedding episode, telling EW, “It will be a COVID wedding dealing with those kinds of realities.” He added that for whatever issues Pops and Ruby may have, another breakup will likely not be one of them. “I’m not interested in, for the sake of drama, going like, ‘They’re on the rocks.’ No, we’ve done it. They’ve reached the finish line. It’s a challenge on us as writers to make sure that we didn’t take out all the things that are interesting about their relationship.”

“Our Wedding Dre” will air Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Check out two exclusive photos from the episode above.

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Black-ish showrunner promises a COVID wedding, love for Junior, and more in season 7

ABC

If there’s one show ready to tackle the insane, unpredictable events that have shaped 2020, it’s Black-ish. While its seventh season technically started with an election-themed animated special directed by Hair Love Oscar winner Matthew Cherry, the first live-action episodes kick off with Wednesday’s premiere and promise to unpack the coronavirus pandemic and the movement for Black lives. “We’re a show that takes place in the same reality that we all live in,” showrunner Courtney Lilly tells EW. “There would be no version of us not being able to address what’s going on.”

Any viewer who’s seen even one scene featuring the Johnson family matriarch likely knows that Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) is a doctor, so one of the ways the series will deal with COVID-19, as exemplified in the premiere, “Hero Pizza,” is showing how she and other essential workers are “seeing a different reality than the rest of us are seeing,” says Lilly. At its core, Black-ish still a family show, though, with people sheltering in place together, so they don’t have to worry about getting into mask debates. “We’re not trying to change the look of the show too much, but we know we wouldn’t be doing what we do if we didn’t at least address it, honestly.”

Part of that means giving a real-time update to Laurence Fishburne and Jenifer Lewis’ characters Pops and Ruby getting remarried, plans that were already set in motion in the sixth season finale. “It will be a COVID wedding dealing with those kinds of realities,” Lilly says. While they have a shooting, some infidelity, and a burned-down boat haunting their past, the showrunner promises the couple (who are maybe getting a spin-off) are built to last: “I’m not interested in, for the sake of drama, going like, ‘They’re on the rocks.’ No, we’ve done it. They’ve reached the finish line. It’s a challenge on us as writers to make sure that we didn’t take out all the things that are interesting about their relationship.”

As for the Johnson children, while the twins are in Zoom school, Devante is still a toddler, and Grown-ish lead Zoey (Yara Shahidi) is only available “for pieces here and there through the season,” according to Lilly, Junior becomes a more central part of the show. As teased in the season 6 finale, Junior (Marcus Scribner) has a new girlfriend named Olivia (played by Katlyn Nichol), who’ll be getting a crash course on spending time with the Johnsons.

“Similar to the way the Cosby Show had Sandra and Elvin, with Elvin as an outsider who is able to kind of like hold the mirror up to the family, and show them what they take for granted,” says Lilly, “we wanted to inject this series with somebody and not just to create new story lines, preserve things, and do all that kind of stuff, but really examine what it’s like for this family when there’s a new person in it.”

Season 7 of

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