5 Family Lessons Season 1 of Queen Sugar Taught Us


While eating some of the best tacos in my life this summer at The Pink Taco on Sunset Blvd., I confidently expressed to my friend how I wasn’t going to enjoy Ava Duvernay’s new project Queen Sugar that was set to air on the OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) this fall. By the look of the commercials it seemed too pretty. Too perfect. Too poetic. Turns out I was “too wrong”. 

Week after week I anxiously awaited for my Wednesday fix of the Bordelon family’s beautiful drama. I laughed. I cried. I cried real, streaming down my face, thick tears. I learned. Here are 5 family lessons season 1 of Queen Sugar taught us.

  1. Everyone deserves a second chance. Ralph Angel (played by Kofi Siriboe) spent majority of season 1 angry with Darla (Bianca Lawson) who plays a recovering drug addict and mother of his son, Blue (Ethan Hutchinson). It wasn’t until after Aunt Violet (Tina Lifford) gave Ralph Angel custody of his son Blue, that we see a domino effect of Ralph Angel extending grace and mercy to Darla.
  2. Black men intimacy is beautiful. We all know THAT scene and those who love Queen Sugar as much as I do will never forget it. It’s the scene that brought tears to Ava Duvernay’s eyes and it will forever be etched in my mind. Three generations of Bordelon men laying in the hospital bed moments before Ernest Bordelon (Glynn Turman) passes away. No words were spoken, but so much was said. queen-sugar-s1e1-earnest-and-ralph-angel-e1473364319552
  3. “Brother from another mother” means nothing. I briefly thought to myself that Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) didn’t resemble her two siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley) and Ralph Angel. Turns out, Charley has a different mother which was briefly mentioned, because it didn’t matter. They shared a parent, which made them siblings. Period. I’m the poster child for blended families, but you’ll never hear me refer to my siblings as “half brothers” or “step-sisters”. They are my siblings. That’s it, that’s all.
  4. I am my brothers keeper. I once heard someone say “It takes a village to raise a child. We have the children, but where’s the village?” They were insinuating that no one really cares about the injustices that happen in their community until it comes to their own front door. Nova proves that theory to be false. Her journalist profession mixed with her activism spirit causes her to go above and beyond to obtain justice for “Too Sweet”, a teenager who’s been falsely imprisoned. There isn’t any blood relation. “Too Sweet” can’t do anything for Nova. She saw an injustice and stepped in to rectify it.
  5. Storms were meant to bring families closer together. In episode 8 “Where With All”, we witness the Bordelon family and friends prepare for a hurricane. They started off playing cards, but it wasn’t long before Nova and Charley had a huge argument, and Darla finally gets to speak her peace to Aunt Vi. The storm serves as a perfect reminder that although their family may not be perfect, there’s only one way to endure the rain and winds: together.


When does Season 2 of Queen Sugar start? I miss it already. Kudos to Natalie Baszile (author of Queen Sugar), Mama Oprah, and Ava Duvernay on creating a beautiful, complex masterpiece that reminds us of the importance of love, loyalty and family.

See ya next year,


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