In an interview with Salon earlier this year, Donald Glover said that the thesis for his new FX series, Atlanta, was to show people what it feels like to be black in America. “I know that’s kind of impossible,” he admitted, “but…”
As the series reaches its season finale on Tuesday, it’s in that “but” that Atlanta ultimately exists. More than any other television show in recent memory, Glover—the series' creator, writer, and lead actor—has allowed viewers the opportunity to enter the skin of another person without the benefit of lived experience. In just 10 half-hour episodes, the series has often succeeded in crafting what feels like a raw and honest portrayal of what it means to be young and black in 2016, a year when the police killings of unarmed African Americans has continued to dominate the news cycle.
As Earn manages his cousin, the rapper Paper Boi, and attempts to prove his worth to the mother of his child, Van, food continues to show up time and time again. From the lemon pepper wet wings at J.R. Crickets, to a series of biting satirical commercials on the “Black American Network,” these are the most memorable food moments from Season 1 of Atlanta.