Andre "Dre" Johnson Sr.

Andre "Dre" Johnson Sr.

Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… in a neighborhood very different than where he lives now. He was raised in Compton, a tough part of Los Angeles, but when he achieved success, he moved a few miles away to a much nicer – but much whiter – part of town.

Living... in cushy, suburban upper middle class luxury with his wife and four kids.  His wife Bow was raised by hippies, but he takes pride in his urban upbringing. Dre’s kids don’t think about race as much as he does and he worries it’s because they’re too spoiled to notice the injustices around them.

Profession... senior vice president at Lido and Stevens, an advertising agency run predominantly by white executives. Every day is a fight against ignorance and unintentional racism. His wife thinks he’s too sensitive though. She says, “You’re the Marco Polo of racism. You find it everywhere!”

Interests… sports, pranks, sneakers, and Luthor Vandross.

Relationship Status...  married to Rainbow, a Brown University alumna and hard-working surgeon. While both of them are ambitious, they disagree on a lot of important things. Most things, actually–  from spanking their kids to keeping a gun in the house. Differences aside, they love each other and their kids very much – and that’s why their relationship is two decades in and still going strong.  

Challenge... teaching his kids to take pride in their heritage in a mostly-white environment. His son cares more about field hockey than basketball, and wants a Bar Mitzvah when he turns thirteen. His daughter’s new boyfriend is not only white – he’s French too! None of these things are acceptable to Dre and he’s going to make sure his kids learn some lessons.                                                                                                    

Personality... stubborn, loud, and a know-it-all. Dre feels like he has to censor himself at work and at school functions. When he’s at home with his family, he lets out all his frustrations with the world. And he does that by lecturing his kids and telling them how to live their lives. But by now, everyone in the Johnson household knows that at the end of the day it’s Andre who’s going to end up learning a lesson.


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