I May Destroy You: A Groundbreaking, Black Series

In Black History by Ulani Mafate

It took about 191 drafts, but writer, creator, and lead actress Michaela Coel managed to create this socio-cultural paradigm of modern-day television, a nuanced opus that despite The “Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s lack of recognition (Specter, 2021),” found the spotlight in entertainment. I May Destroy You is genre-defying, packed with more relevant issues than one can detect after the first watch of this series. In these 20 minute segments, it explores class, immigration, labor exploitation, toxic capitalism, privilege, sexuality, trauma, infidelity, healing, friendship and so much more (blackgirlnerds.com). “It’s truly about everything,” said Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, after comparing the show to Seinfeld, another cultural paradigm of which He and I are sure many others would agree was about nothing. The premise of I May Destroy You, in essence, depicts the main character Arabella, who is forced to reassess her life choices, friends, and family after being sexually assaulted in a nightclub, a horrific event with more than one individual to blame. Amazingly, this show portraying relevant issues with a predominantly Black cast is not centered around “Blackness” or the “Black struggle” as it’s commonly phrased, one of if not, the main benefactor of its originality. It is beautifully off-beat for a black woman’s deeply personal, quasi-autobiographical narrative to be relayed in such a universal manner, much less deemed as universal in the entertainment industry and the larger society. I May Destroy You is a highly disruptive, cultural gem.