Tracee Ellis Ross is no stranger to stepping behind the camera on ABC’s family comedy, Black-ish. This time around she directed Black-ish’s Season 5 Episode 15, entitled “Black History Month”. The episode was created to educate people about prominent African-American players in history, and it features guest star, Octavia Spencer.
Speaking to Variety, Ross said that the message the episode carried was about recognizing that black people are a vast group of people and there’s more to share about them than has been done. “It’s not about celebrating for just one month; it’s about liberating and empowering the different stories and different voices so we can all be lifted up by them as a culture, and not as black people,” she told Variety.
Although the episode was intended to be directed by Ross’ co-star Anthony Anderson, she told Variety that she was very glad to have worked on it. “It was a very challenging task, but it’s very exciting to tell a story in more ways than you get to as an actor,” she expressed.
However, she said the greatest pleasure came in when the cameras stopped rolling and she got the opportunity to review all the scenes she’d directed. “You get to see the work and put everything out together,” she explained. “I find it incredibly exciting.”
Catch “Black History Month” when Black-ish airs on Thursday at 19:30.