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There's A New Nigerian-American Sitcom Pilot About Nigerian Parents & Their 'First Gen' Kids

'First Gen,' from actress/comedian Yvonne Orji, is a new sitcom pilot about Nigerian parents and their first generation kids.


First Gen is a sitcom pilot about an "everyday Nigerian-American family" that looks to offer a satirical glimpse of the inner dynamics between immigrant parents and their first generation kids. The loosely autobiographical show, whose trailer debuted this week, builds from the real-life experiences and stand-up material of its creator, Yvonne Orji. Like the character she plays, Orji opted out of a career in medicine to become a comedian. From the pilot's trailer it's safe to say the actress's decision to pursue a career in the arts didn't go over well with her more traditional parents. "We did not bring you to this country to be a clown," her character Joanna's mother says in the trailer.

“An interesting shift is occurring where kids of immigrant parents are growing up and discovering America for themselves; not solely through the lens of their parents," the pilot's creators told Shadow & Act. "This opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Until First Gen, we haven’t seen Africans portrayed in mainstream media as regular, everyday people. They’re usually warlords, cab drivers or fleeing genocide. The African immigrant story in America is so much richer than that. The success of entertainers like Lupita Nyong’o David Oyelowo, and Uzo Aduba suggests that mainstream America is ready to tune into a series like First Gen."

As of right now the project's goal is to be sold to a major network and produced into a sitcom for the masses. Watch the show's first trailer and see more from Orji in the clip below. Keep up with First Gen on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

H/T Shadow & Act

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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