‘Atlanta’ Recap: Alfred Helps Earn Avoid Being Bullied over a FUBU Jersey

Earn’s mom buys him a FUBU jersey “on sale.”

The episode opens with Earn shopping with his mom at a clothing store. Earn asks his mom if they could go home, saying he’s been at school all day. His mom replies, “I wonder what you’ll do when you get a job.”

“You said school is my full-time job.” – Earn

He wanders away from his mom and sees a flashy, yellow FUBU jersey. He picks it up and runs to his mom.

Earn shows it to her, asking her to buy it and she reluctantly says yes.

Students begins to question if Earn’s jersey is fake.

The next morning, he wakes up and wears it to school. He walks to the bus stop and gets on the bus. He sits down next to his friend who brings up homework. Earn tells him to copy it at lunch. Suddenly, another kid tries to throw a cup of yogurt out of the window and it hits another kid in the back.

He angrily gets up asking who threw it. He finds out who did it and he walks up to him and punches the kid in the face.

In the classroom, Earn get’s praise for the FUBU jersey from other kids. A girl comes into class and tells Earn, “Nice shirt.”

Earn smiles and tells her thank you.

However, they get confused when another kid walks in with a very similar jersey. They point out the differences in the shirt, asking to “check the tags.” So the class clown checks their tags and performs an inspection. Earn’s jersey has two stripes on the sleeves but the other kid has one stripe with a FUBU patch over the left side of the chest.

The class clown couldn’t discern which is fake. The students ask where their clothing brand expert Johnny Lee is, to clear up the confusion. However, Johnny isn’t at school, yet.

The substitute teacher Mr. Haley walks in as the bell rings, and the students find their seats. But the class clown heckles the teacher about his weight.

“Why your shoes so dirty? He got chicken grease on his shoes.” – Class Clown

Mr. Haley tries to control the class but the class clown steals the energy, continuing to clown the teacher.

Alfred’s in the principal’s office for hustling a calculator.

Meanwhile, Alfred is in the office after being accused of stealing a calculator. Alfred claims “racism” is why he’s being accused.

“Well if that’s true, than you have to write both of us up. So you need to write both of us up then.” – Alfred

His words get him off the hook.

Earn walks out of class with his white friend concerned that his jersey could be fake. He tries to explain that wearing fake labels could get him bullied.

“Doesn’t seem to be a big deal to me, I wore this shirt twice this week.” – Earn’s white friend.

Earn continues to worry about the judgment from other students about the jersey.

In Biology class, the class clown stares at him as he awaits his “results.” Meanwhile his female classmate Denisha in the front of the class “sleeps.” She tries to hide a black-eye, but their teacher confronts her about sleeping in class. Denisha brushes it off.

During their lab assignment, his partner calls him smart.

He then gets letters from a girl in the class asking if his shirt is real at first, then asking if its real. It asks, “Is the Jersey Fake?”

Earn checks a box that says no and sends the letter back. She replies back saying he better not be lying.

He then notices a string loose on the sleeve and he pulls it out of panic. This causes a hole to show up on the seam and Earn freaks out. The kid with the other yellow FUBU jersey on, Devon, sees him panicking.

Earn gets picked on by older kids after class.

Outside of class, Earn is trying to keep a low profile. But three older kids notice him and call his jersey fake. They ask him where he got it and how much it cost.

Earn says he doesn’t know and they call out that it’s “fake.”

“He’s wearing FIBI!” – Heckling Students

It’s lunch and Earn’s in the cafeteria. He sits next to his friends on the bus. They see the Devon getting bullied by the other kids. But Devon says his jersey is real. His dad bought it for him. He also says he has all of the Jordans and Earn is always in school “looking like a bum.”

He then walks away, and the other hecklers call him sensitive.

Earn finds Alfred in the hallway at his locker. Alfred asks Earn if he caught the latest episode of Dragon Ball Z.

“I can’t watch it anymore. My mom saw the black guy with the red lips and calls it racist.” – Earn

He then asks Alfred for advice about the FUBU shirt. He tells Alfred that his mom got it from Marshalls. Alfred tells Earn to have confidence about the shirt, so no one will figure out its fake.

Alfred helps Earn “convince” others his jersey is real.

Their brand expert Johnny Lee comes over after school, as Earn tries to run out. The kid say the jersey should have a “made in China” sticker. Instead, Earn’s shirt says it’s made in Bangladesh.

But Alfred comes over to them and does his own inspection. He tells the observers that the shirt is supposed to say “made in Bangladesh.”

“Of course he’s gonna be like it should be made in China. He’s Chinese!” – Alfred

This leads to the other kids to say the other kid Devon’s jersey is fake. As a result, Earn is able to slither to the bus unnoticed. On the way, the girl from Biology class gives him her phone number. His friend tells him that 12th graders found out about the jersey and heckled and bullied Devon all the way to the bus. They even threw a yogurt cup at him.

The bullying over the FUBU jerseys have unintended consequences.

The next day, The principal comes into Devon’s class to announce that Devon committed suicide. It turns out that he was dealing with his parents divorcing.

His biology teacher tells them a message about being tolerant. Denisha arrives to class in a happy mood.

After school, Earn arrives home and his mom and aunt are at the dining room table. Meanwhile, Alfred is on the couch in the living room watching TV. His mom brings up Devon committing suicide at school. The school called home about it.

They tell Earn to let them know if he’s being bullied.

“People will bully you your whole life if you let ’em. You and your cousin need to look out for each other.” – Alfred’s mom

Earn’s mom then tells him he starts piano lessons. She also tells him he’s going to wear a black suit, and needs to find a belt.

Earn scoffs at this and asks why he has to wear a suit. She replies, “Because I said so.” She then tells him a lesson her mom told her.

“My mom told me you got one time to make a good impression. You are a black man in America. You need to look good. How you look is important.” – Earn’s mom

His aunt chimes in and tells him, “It’s true.”

His mom also bought him another FUBU jersey that was sale.

“Don’t ever said I didn’t do anything for you.” – Earn’s Mom

He walks past his room and says, “Okay.” The episode ends with Earn sitting next to Alfred to watch TV.

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  1. I liked this episode because it touched on materialism in the black community and where it comes from. And I really love how the white boy told Earn that no one pays attention to what he wears. Very well written.

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