A Look At The Impact of OWN’s ‛Queen Sugar’

Helmed by Ava DuVernay, Queen Sugar launched many careers and will go down in history as the first show to strictly use female directors over the course of its entire run.

OWN's Queen Sugar starts final season Sept 6

This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit Magazine.

Queen Sugar” season 7 premieres on OWN on Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The season is believed to be a total of 13 episodes and will be its final. 

Get ready to say goodbye to the fictional Louisiana siblings, who came together at the start of the first season to manage their family land and have gone through so much since. “Queen Sugar” is coming to an end with the final season premiering on OWN, September 6th. After following their lives for six seasons, there’s a good chance that the Bordelon family of the OWN drama “Queen Sugar” feels a bit like your family, too.

A look at the impact of OWN’s “Queen Sugar.” Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Based on the book by Natalie Baszile, OWN’s “Queen Sugar,” was right on time for Black viewers in 2016. Other than the Lyon’s, Black family sagas were hard to come by, but this drama, ripe with scandal, sibling rivalry and legacy proved how incredibly talented artists of color are, when given the chance. Helmed by Ava DuVernay, the show launched many careers and will go down in history as the first show to strictly use female directors over the course of its entire run. Additionally, crew members, above and below the line, received meaningful work. DuVernay intentionally disrupted traditional Hollywood hiring practices, and gave newbies and veterans exposure, experience, and preparation for future opportunities. The impact of this decision will reverberate for decades.

The cast of OWN’s “Queen Sugar.” Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Entertainment.

Before I say goodbye, let me reflect on how I thirsted after Ralph Angel, held back tears when Aunt Violet got sick and prayed she’d let Hollywood love her. The complicated relationship between Nova and little sister Charly hit home, as I thought of that special love/hate dynamic unique to female siblings. New Orleans, naturally lush, sexy, and dangerous made OWN’s “Queen Sugar” a must-watch. The drama never shied away from truth-telling, as the social, political, and economic issues facing Black farmers and small business owners mirror real life structural racism imbedded in the fabric of our society.

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Nova, Ralph Angel, Charly are more than just three siblings trying to save the family farm, they are filled with passion for their ancestors and a love of community. These endearing qualities made OWN’s “Queen Sugar” feel real. Before this show, I was unaware of the modern plight of Black farmers. I had not considered that even in the 21st century trying to live off the land was as fraught with peril as it was generations before. I am grateful that Baszile’s book and DuVernay’s vision combined to shine light on this ongoing fight for equal governmental subsidies and hope changes in loan structures and punishment for racist farmers like the Landry’s level the playing field. I also hope Hollywood show runners will copy Ava DuVernay’s hiring blueprint to make jobs accessible to Black people and women of color.

Siblings, Ralph Angel, Charly and Nova from OWN’s ”Queen Sugar.” Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

The show’s exit will leave an indelible mark on television and my heart will always hold space for the Bordelone’s.

It’s unfathomable that OWN’S “Queen Sugar” is taking its final bow this fall.filled a hole in family saga about three adult siblings living, loving and trying to save their family legacy in New Orleans, has been a must watch.

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