5 Family Lessons Fox’s ‘EMPIRE’ is Teaching Us

by Wednesday, March 11, 2015


I’ve been #TeamEmpire ever since I saw the preview trailer. Anything with Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard is worth my attention. Confession session: After watching the first 2 episodes, I thought Empire was a bit corny. However, the storyline continued to draw me in every Wednesday and now I officially need my Empire “fix” every week. Of course I’m tuning in to be entertained by all the drama and feisty one liners faithfully provided by Cookie Lyon. Nonetheless, I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the way Empire is “art imitating life”, slowly stepping on toes, and causing us to sweep around our own front door. Here are 5 family lessons Fox’s ‘Empire’ is teaching us:

  1. Sibling rivalry is detrimental if not properly dealt with. Last week’s episode made me re-think eldest son Andre Lyon’s character. The corny, yet soul stirring scene in the elevator with the 3 Lyon brothers was the breakdown that NEEDED to happen. Andre wasn’t a jerk in the beginning. He isn’t the madman we all believe him to be. He is the only child who believes he became invisible when his younger brothers came along. He’s the son who believes his intelligence doesn’t add up to his brothers musical talents. He’s the poster child for sibling rivalry and the damage it causes if not properly dealt with. Thank God for that elevator breaking down right?
  2. Mental illness needs to be addressed in Black families. Every time a member from the African American community commits suicide, we all agree that mental illness needs to be addressed on a broader scale, but it never actually happens. I think it’s genius of Lee Daniels to subliminally address bipolar disorder in Empire. Now the ball is rolling. I’m anxious to read the online conversations regarding the next few episodes. Let’s discuss.
  3. Family and business DOES mix. I know, I know, we’re encouraged NOT to do business with family for obvious reasons. Family can tend to not take you serious and abuse your authority. However, Empire proves that family and business can be a great thing, once we get past all the drama and drop our pride. Hakeem faithfully relies on Jamal’s musical abilities and Lucious will always respect Cookie’s business decisions. He’s well aware that she knows what she’s doing, because she’s been doing it since day 1. There’s a level of comfort that comes along with doing business with family. The love is real and they want the same goal for the family, which is success.
  4. Skeletons are better outside of the closet. Cookie isn’t hiding the fact that she was in jail. Jamal isn’t hiding the fact that he’s gay. While the entire world doesn’t need to be aware of your private life, family should ALWAYS know who you are.

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