Them: An Amazon Prime Series That Spotlights Black America in the 1950s

By Diary of a Chocolate Girl

A newly released series on Amazon Prime title, Them, is a fantastic, American psychological fictional horror that depicts Black America during the 1950s. The series takes place with a family during the Second Great Migration, which began in the 1940s. Approximately five million African Americans from the South migrated to the Northeast, Midwest, and West, during which an expansion of industrial production and the agricultural industry presented promising jobs. This was an exit from the Jim Crow laws in the South and an opportunity for a new life for many blacks.

Season one of this series centers on the Emory family; the family is led by the father, Henry Emory, played by Ashley Thomas, who relocates his family from rural North Carolina to an all-white neighborhood in East Los Angeles to start a new job as an engineer during the rapidly expanding new Industrial Age. Mr. Emory’s wife, Lucy, is played by a breathtaking actress, Deborah Ayorinde. Lucky is the family’s home caretaker, as most women were during this time. Her two daughters Ruby, 14, and Gracie, 5, are introduced to a new lifestyle and navigate living in a community that does not favor their presence or skin color. The trauma within the Emory family takes place long before they migrate to the west. An experience that would break most during the frightening time of the 1950s was a driving force for the Emory’s to seek a new start and better opportunities for their family.

While dealing with the adjustments that come with a new environment, Emory faces several sinister atrocities. This series is an insight into what it is like being Black in America. It is an accurate depiction of what many of our now elderly family members experience during the series set time. Them takes place over ten days, starting with the Emory family moving into their new home that comes with a history of its own. The now all-white neighborhood paints an appearance of picture-perfect lives of white families who set the standard of their community who feel the land and homes they purchased are their birthrights rather than a gift.

An assortment of emotions while watching this eye-widening series. From the flashbacks giving pain and sorrow, the presence of irony and comical moments, to the recap of the history of Blacks in America. It is anything less than a fulfillment of a rise of multiple emotions within all ten episodes.

The most subliminal and contextual figure of the series is Lucky Emory. Throughout the series, we are taken on a journey with Lucky, a mother who protects her daughters while combating her neighbor, the leader of a ring of white women intimidated by Lucky’s family while she masks her pains of what she left behind in North Carolina….or so we thought. Each member of the Emory family has their battle of existence in what seems to be an environment of clouded reality. We are delighted to witness each character as they navigate what we as viewers are hopeful of overcoming while seeing their experiences and truths.

Overall this series is a must-see if you love a great anthropological drama filled with edgy horror. One that grips your attention and creates emotions with moments of anger, hope, sorrow, historical truths, mind-boggling revelations, and eradication of running from what is mean to break or defeat one. If you can nod your head yes, then this is the series for you! Set in a time where the story being told is a close-to-home reality hits harder than the present challenges each faces in a lifetime. If the truths of the history of blacks in this country offend you, then this series isn’t for you.

The privilege of preference is every viewer can indulge in the art created to entertain and educate with slivers of truth from history. One cannot deny the occurrences of what one race has experienced or is still undergoing. An experience that may not be known to everyone but can be educational to all.

If you are willing to acknowledge and accept pieces from history, then challenge your emotions and turn on your tv!

Chanel Davis is a contributing writer and the creator and operator of the Diary Of A Chocolate Girl podcast aiming to connect with chocolate girls all over through personal experiences and opinions with mild humor and a spiritual flare. Be sure to connect on IG and Facebook @diaryofachocolategirl.

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