'Black-ish' Stars Say Being 'Unapologetic' Helped Earn Universal Appeal Ahead of Series Finale

The Black-ish series finale airs Tuesday, April 19, on ABC

Black-ish has captured the attention of millions of viewers for eight years as it follows the personal and sociopolitical issues faced by the fictional Johnson family.

Now, stars of the ABC sitcom are reflecting on the show's universal appeal to audiences across the country and the globe ahead of its upcoming series finale.

Speaking with PEOPLE at the Black-ish series finale event at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on Saturday, Anthony Anderson said the show's appeal comes from its "authenticity," "being unapologetic," and "fighting for what you believe in."

"And that's what made our show appealing," the 51-year-old actor said. "And with the worldwide audience, wanting to better ourselves and live the American dream and have the best for all of our family, that's what it was all about."

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Tracee Ellis Ross offered a similar analysis, noting that "the characters are so relatable" to viewers.

"I feel like each one of our characters has their own viewpoint. There's no stagnation. They've all grown throughout the years and changed their opinions like real people do. We all grow up and we all change," Ross, 49, explained to PEOPLE at Saturday's event. "I think it's a beautiful thing and people see themselves in these characters."

"One of the biggest comments that I get any time people come up to me on the streets is that they see their nephew or they see their brother or they see their son in Andre Jr. — and being able to do that for people is a beautiful thing," said Marcus Scribner.

Despite being a comedy-based series, Black-ish has not shied away from tackling serious topics such as police brutality, social anxiety, racism, and more.

Miles Brown, who was just 9 years old when the show premiered in 2014, told PEOPLE that it was "an honor for us to even be able to showcase these topics" on the show, in addition to representing the Black community on television.

"For us to kind of be able to be the voice for a lot of communities that wish TV shows talked about … things that go on in this world that people don't really want to talk about on TV, it's an honor to be a part of something so special to you, to my community, to other peoples that are able to watch it and say, 'Hey, this reminds me of myself,'" Brown, now 17, said.

"And this reminds me of my family," he added, noting, "I think that's one of the biggest things that I'm super proud of the show."

The series also stars Yara Shahidi, Marsai Martin, Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Meacham, Jenifer Lewis, Peter Mackenzie, Deon Cole, Katlyn Nichol, and August and Berlin Gross.

The Black-ish series finale airs Tuesday, April 19 on ABC.

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