The Cast Of ‘The Wonder Years’ Is Ready To Remind The World That Black Family Unity Is A Forever Thing
Photo by David Willems

The forthcoming reimagined ‘Wonder Years’ series follows a fictional Black family living in Alabama in the 1960s. The show tackles the norms, struggles, and barriers that they endured during a time in America when these families were grossly underrepresented. The series takes viewers inside the world of a strong Black family that conquers the barriers and importance of building respect alongside success.

The Cast Of ‘The Wonder Years’ Is Ready To Remind The World That Black Family Unity Is A Forever Thing
2022 Essence Festival of Culture held in New Orleans, Louisiana – July 1 – 3, 2022

In a conversation presented by ABC and led by Talk Show Host Tamron Hall during the inaugural ESSENCE Film Festival at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, the show’s cast members shared how their roles have impacted them and the story behind this brilliant remake of a classic.”For myself, being a part of this show is important because our stories matter,” said actor Dule Hill, who portrays the character Bill Williams. “I think it was important to show that the family unit, we’ve always been here. And will always be here in our tomorrow.”

Though the highly-anticipated series showcases some of many challenges within the Black community such as colorism, not being accepted by your own, and having sensitive conversations that are normally held behind closed doors, actress Laura Kariuki notes that the show also depicts the beauty in growing through those challenges together as a family. In the end, she believes viewers will walk away with not only insight into these issues, but an understanding of how to overcome them. “It’s a completely new perspective,” she says. “And being able to be a beautiful, dark-skinned family for people to see, is a blessing.”

The Cast Of ‘The Wonder Years’ Is Ready To Remind The World That Black Family Unity Is A Forever Thing
2022 Essence Festival of Culture held in New Orleans, Louisiana – July 1 – 3, 2022

Black representation is indeed an important factor in the reimagining of this show and Elisha Williams, who plays Dean Williams, has been dubbed the epitome of courage and “Black boy joy,” on the show. “The audience that watches it will be able to look at it and analyze it themselves,” he said. “A lot of things that happen then, are now similar to [what’s happening] today. There’s always something that’s reflecting off of now which I think the viewers will be able to see and understand.”

The Cast Of ‘The Wonder Years’ Is Ready To Remind The World That Black Family Unity Is A Forever Thing
2022 Essence Festival of Culture held in New Orleans, Louisiana – July 1 – 3, 2022

Season 2 of The Wonder Years, is set to premiere in Fall 2022 on ABC, with episodes streaming on Hulu. For more of everything you missed at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, visit our official video content hub HERE.

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