How to Be Black, Baratunde Thurston’s comic memoir, is being turned into an animated series by producers behind the network’s hit sitcom Black-ish.
In the book, Thurston (image above, left) recounts his upbringing and experiences as a Black man in America. The adaptation is being developed by Black-ish showrunner Courtney Lilly (image above, right) and executive producers Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland.
The series comes from Disney’s 20th Television Animation and ABC Signature, with which Lilly has an overall deal. ABC is also owned by Disney, and if the show makes it into production, it would mark ABC’s first primetime animated series since the short-lived The Goode Family back in 2009.
Thurston and Lilly will write the script. They will also executive-produce alongside Fishburne and Sugland, who are involved through their Cinema Gypsy Productions banner. This isn’t the production company’s first animated endeavor: it is also behind the Disney+ animated Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur and the feature Sneaks.
Lilly also has experience in animation: the writer-producer’s credits include Fox’s The Cleveland Show and Nickelodeon’s Invader Zim. Last year saw the release of an animated Black-ish election special.
Black-ish, a comedy about an upper-class African American family, will return for its eighth and final season next year. The series has earned a Golden Globe and Peabody Award, as well as dozens of Emmy nominations.