A diverse offering of shows is finally on the rise. So if you're craving great content that is also representative of the African American community, these are the best Black TV series to stream that are making inclusion a priority. List of the latest Black TV Series in 2021 on tv and the best Black TV Series
The biopic chronicles the life and murder of Black Panther leader and activist Fred Hampton.
When They See Us
In this jarring miniseries, Ava DuVernay helmed this dramatic retelling of the story of the Central Park Five (now known as the Exonerated Five). In 1989, five young boys of color were wrongfully accused and charged with the rape of a white woman, only for the true attacker to confess 13 years after the teens were convicted and sentenced to prison.
This groundbreaking critically acclaimed drama series delves into 1980s New York City ball culture chronicling the triumphs and tribulations of those in the LGBTQ community. The show itself is known for having the largest cast ever of LGBTQ characters in a scripted series.
In this original Netflix series, Michaela Coel stars as Tracey Gordon, a 24-year-old virgin who is raised in an extremely religious household. When she's finally ready to embrace her sexuality, she summons up the alluring power of Beyoncé to seduce her boyfriend. And from there, the British comedy takes its audience on a joyride through Tracey's crazy exploits and journey to self-discovery.
Any TV show with a soundtrack like HBO’s Insecure is worth adding to your queue. But beyond discovering great new tunes, Insecure is the best half-hour you’ll spend with a group of girlfriends. Made up of resident funny women Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Natasha Rothwell, and Amanda Seales, the relatable comedy explores their relationships and careers in Los Angeles, putting Black women and their complexities at the forefront.
ABC’s popular comedy features Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Laurence Fishburne, and Jenifer Lewis. Though the first few seasons focused Anderson and Ross’s characters getting their four kids ready to navigate the real world as Black adults, more recent episodes have tackled heavier topics like divorce, politics, and racism. Sure, the Johnson family brings the laughs, but they’re also a positive reminder that you can achieve success and wealth and still not forget your humble beginnings.
Much of the hype surrounding this dark comedy is centered on the brilliant performance of Donald Glover, who plays the down-and-out Earnest “Earn” Marks. The praise and subsequent Emmy wins are definitely warranted, but what makes FX’s Atlanta one of the best shows on television, besides its realistic portrayal of the Georgia capital, is the fact that it has an equally impressive supporting cast. The characters manage to turn even the most mundane moments into bigger conversations around social issues.
Though it took some time to find its footing, this religious-based OWN series, starring Lynn Whitfield, Merle Dandridge, and Keith David, returns strong in the third season. Set in a Memphis megachurch, the Greenleaf family’s faith is tested as dark secrets are uncovered and drama surfaces. Oprah is also a series regular in the role of Aunt Mavis.
Dear White People
Created by Justin Simien, this Netflix series takes the satire of the 2014 original film and kicks it up a notch for the streaming giant. Approaching its third season in 2019, the biggest issue at stake for the students of Winchester is discovering the meaning behind the secret society that everyone is buzzing about on campus.
Not since A Different World have audiences been treated to a college-based series featuring such multicultural students. Grown-ish fills the void since that show ended in 1993, but creator Kenya Barris’s version addresses subject matters young adults of today can relate to, such as addiction, love triangles, race and gender inequality, and the pitfalls of social media. Starring Yara Shahidi, Trevor Jackson, and Chloe and Halle Bailey, season 2 of the
Black-ish spin-off premieres on January 2 on Freeform.
Ava DuVernay's hit series on OWN tells the story of the Bordelon siblings, Nova (Rutina Wesley), Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe), and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner). After their father’s death in the first season, the estranged trio comes together to run his sugar cane farm in Louisiana. Along the way, they experience personal setbacks and opposition to their business endeavors, yet quickly discover how powerful they are when they stick together.
She's Gotta Have It
If you’re a fan of Spike Lee’s 1986 movie, She's Gotta Have It, then you’ll appreciate this modern-day Netflix adaptation, starring DeWanda Wise as Nola Darling. Of course, there are slight changes to the updated series. This time, Nola has a fourth potential suitor, whereas in the film, she only had three love interests vying for her attention. However, the more things change, the more they remain the same. Nola is still a painter, and a woman who is unapologetically Black, carefree, and sexually liberated, just as she was depicted in the ‘80s classic.
Years after the success of NBC's Friday Night Lights comes CW's similar offering, All American. The drama, in its first season, is loosely based on the life of NFL athlete, Spencer Paysinger. The protagonist, Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) spent his troubled early teenage years hanging with the wrong crowd. He gets a second chance when his high school football coach, Billy Baker (Taye Diggs) takes a special interest in him and his potential.
CW’s Black Lightning premiered in January to rave reviews. The series focuses on a former caped vigilante turned high school principal name Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams). Jefferson is forced to suit up again to protect his family from street gangs. What he doesn’t realize is that his two daughters, Jennifer and Anissa, are also gifted with special powers, bringing a whole new meaning to Black Girl Magic.
We’d watch Niecey Nash in anything, including this TNT breakthrough series. The bulk of the show takes place in a Florida nail salon, with Nash, Karreuche Tran, Judy Reyes, and Harold Perrineau rounding out the diverse cast. As the women slay the manicures of their quirky clients, they also have to deal with mob bosses, murder, and bad boys.
Tracy Morgan, Tiffany Haddish, and Cedric the Entertainer all star in this hilarious TBS series. Tracy Morgan plays Tray Barker, an ex-con who returns to his old Brooklyn neighborhood after being released from prison. Not only have the demographics of his block changed in the 15 years since he’s been locked up, but his ex-girlfriend Shay (Haddish) is different too. The strength of this show, co-created by Jordan Peele, rests on Morgan’s instincts as a veteran comedian and his knack for turning even the most dire situations into comedy.
Now in its fifth season, this ABC drama about a music mogul and his family is headed up by Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. It’s like a watered-down version of The Sopranos set to R&B and rap sounds. You’ll press play for the musical performances, but return season after season for the drama and, of course, Henson's Cookie Lyon.
The Starz series is equal parts aspirational and addictive with nonstop action and plot twists. The fifth season brought about the deaths of major characters, but also left audiences with a major cliffhanger, promising more surprises and interesting storylines for season 6. Somehow fans will have to survive the series' six-month hiatus before they discover what trouble Ghost (Omari Hardwick), Tasha (Naturi Naughton), Angela (Lela Loren), and Tommy (Joseph Sikora) will be up to in 2019.
In the same way that HBO’s The Wire paints a vivid portrait of urban life in Baltimore, this new gritty Showtime drama does the same for the South Side of Chicago. Created by Master of None actress and writer Lena Waithe, the debut season of the coming-of-age series follows the lives of a group of Black teens who are impacted by a single tragedy. But more than anything, Waithe brings a human touch to the gang violence and murders in Chicago, forcing audiences to see beyond headlines and crime statistics.
More than three decades after the crack epidemic of the 1980s, director John Singleton brings the devastating era and its origins to life on FX. But rather than showcasing Franklin Saint's (Damson Idris) rise through the ranks of the Los Angeles organized crime syndicate, Singleton instead, concentrates on the vicious cycle of poverty and oppression caused by the drug trade.
POWER BOOK II: GHOST
Power Book II: Ghost picks up shortly after the earth-shattering events of Power as Tariq St. Patrick grapples with a new world order: his father dead and his mother, Tasha, facing charges for the murder her son committed.
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