“…There Through Thick & Thin”
Hi there and welcome to the first Pocketbook Chronicles blog post! I am excited to share my love of popular Black TV sitcoms with you all. The 80’s made me, but the 90’s raised me and like most in my culture, Black TV sitcoms were a staple in my household growing up. I have a lot of favorite shows — this is what prompted me to create the illustrated series Pocketbook Chronicles.
The concept of the Pocketbook Chronicles didn’t come out of thin air. A couple of years ago, I was watching Good Morning America, when I saw a segment with the actress Abbi Jacobson. She was talking about her new book titled “Carry This Book.” Her book, also illustrated, featured what celebrities would carry in their purses. She featured several people and genders — from Martha Stewart to Ghandi. It was a very creative idea and I was inspired after reading her book. Then, I had an epiphany! I thought it would be fun to take a spin on her creation, but I would focus on my love for Black TV sitcoms and their characters.
I sat on this idea for a couple of years. I started my art business and wanted to feature this illustrated series back in 2017, but I wasn’t sure if anyone would understand what I was trying to communicate. I never put together a full concept or created a title, so the idea collected dust and sat in my “mental rolodex.” Then, the pandemic happened. Like many I started working from home and began to figure out more ways to revamp my stagnate business and promote my Etsy shop. It obviously gave me a lot of time to think on what I could do. That’s when this idea crept back into my head and I forced myself to commit to this idea. The name, Pocketbook Chronicles, came from my own upbringing. I don’t know about you all but growing up in a southern area, we called our purses “pocketbooks.” And the word “chronicles” just sounded better than using stories.
And so, here we are! Pocketbook Chronicles was born and the ideas started flowing quickly. I launched this series on September 11, 2020 with the hit 2000’s TV sitcom ‘Girlfriends.’ On that date, it had been the 20 year anniversary that the show had aired. How clever, right? ‘Girlfriends’ was a Black TV sitcom that started out on UPN and then converted to the CW. I LOVED THIS SHOW! ‘Girlfriends’ came out right as I went to college and I was in awe. The hair, the fashion, the careers, and just the independent women vibe — I was here for it! I still get excited to watch show reruns and will continue to champion for a movie because I need closure!
As research for this blog, I re-watched the entire series. I saw the show a completely different way as “almost 40-year-old me” than I did as “20-year-old me.” Boy, did a lot of things make more sense now! Relationship woes, toxic friendships, finding your passion — the list goes on and on! That is another thing that I loved about the show, no topic was off limits; not even Lynn’s sister using the “N” word as a Caucasian woman.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I will dive into each character of the show — Joan, Lynn, Toni and Maya. You will learn what each character would carry in their “pocketbooks” based on their fictional personalities. Stay tuned to find out.
What do you remember from the ‘Girlfriends’ series that has stuck with you over the years?