Ya’ll know I love HBO’s True Blood series like I love my mom’s dressing on Thanksgiving. But the show’s writing team clearly doesn’t know what to do with black folks. For a fictional town in Louisiana, Bon Temps is awfully monochromatic. Though, I guess Alan Ball and co. deserve some “props” for doing better than than the books on which the show is based. Author Charlaine Harris rarely paints a black person that isn’t a stereotype or a cipher. Ball gives us Lafayette (a minor character who dies at the end of book one in Harris’ story ) and Tara (white in the book, new black Tara is essentially a sassy, black sidekick). But even for a less than racially conscious show, the mini-episode above is some hot buttered bullshit.The rest of the article is also exactly right.
I don't have a lot to add, but I'll leave you with a list of the black characters on the show.
Tara - Sassy sidekick and occasional magical negro with zero self-esteem and anger issues. Also the locus of the show's winking nod to domestic violence.
Tara's mom - Raging alcoholic, Church Lady, believes she's had her demons exorcised by Miss Jeannette, out at her gris-gris trailer in the woods.
Miss Jeannette - Exorcist/charlatan/murder victim.
Lafayette - Sassy Gay Man with a dash of Mouthy Black Man thrown in.
Kenya - No nonsense mountain of a black woman (in the books, she's repeatedly described as big and scary; in the show, she's just mean-faced).
Eggs - Tragically evil, which I take from this excellent open letter to the creator of Supernatural (I do not watch the show, because the first few eps were too scary for me, so I only know secondhand what I would like or be bugged by)
I think this list pretty much speaks for itself.