Black television shows have come a long way. From the days of ‘The Cosby Show’ to today, having several options to watch on different streaming platforms. These shows capture different narratives of African American life- their culture, economic status, and lifestyle.
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1. She’s Gotta Have It
Produced by Spike Lee and Monty Ross, the series tells the struggle of Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) who is having a hard time deciding on the kind of man she wants to date. As a result, she ends up dating three men. She’s Gotta Have It is inspired by a 1986 film that Spike Lee made.
2. The Perfect Find
Gabrielle Union who is the lead actress and plays the role of Jenna loses her job and at the same time, is going through a public breakup. As she works on recreating her life, she gets lured in by a young man and has to deal with the risk of damaging her career or going on with her romantic life.
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Fronted by a black cast of Omari Hardwick who plays James ‘Ghost’ St, Patrick and Naturi Naughton, get ready to go into the life of a drug kingpin who uses his nightclub business to cover up his tracks. James comes from a poor background and is determined to leave those days behind and give his family a better life.
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4. Country Queen
This is Kenya’s first Netflix series. It premiered on the platform in 2022. It revolves around a young woman Akisa who left her village for the city and now works as an event planner. She lands a deal with a mining company Eco Rock with whom she has a complicated relationship. First, her boyfriend is the husband of the owner of the company.
This leads to a nasty reveal during which Akisa gets a call from home about her father’s sickness. At the same time, Eco Rock wants to mine gold in her village. All these force her to return home after 10 years to deal with her past and the current tribulations facing her. What does she do? Find out by catching the series on Netflix.
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5. Queen Sono
Work is a convenient tool to avoid the stress in your life. Queen Sono captures this all too well. She works as a spy for an agency, where she finds suspicious information about her mother’s killing.
This puts her loyalty to the test and brings out the dynamism of the narrative and the actress Pearl Thusi. The South African film was the first Netflix Original from Africa which is just one of the reasons why you should add it to your watch list.
6. The Last Dance
For those who love sports, The Last Dance is one of the best black series on Netflix to watch. It takes you into the life of one of the greatest basketballers in the history of the game, Michael Jordan, during his time at Chicago Bulls. Recapture the moments with him in this inspiring film and understand why he is one of the best.
7. On My Block
Starring Sierra Capri, Diego Tinoco, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, and Jessica Marie Garcia, the college life of these friends takes them into the inner cities of LA and puts their bonds to the test. The show was released in 2018.
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8. Dear White People
Released in 2017, the film Dear White People is an adaptation of its 2014 release. Set in an Ivy League institution, it follows each character in every episode while addressing racial issues and finding out how they deal with them.
9. When They See Us
The film revisits the true story of five individuals who were incarcerated unfairly for the killing of a white woman in Manhattan. It takes us through the journeys of Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise, and Kevin Richardson from their incarceration to their life post-incarceration. This film received critical acclaim for pointing out the racial and social injustice these men faced.
If you love sitcoms then we promise that this is one you should watch. The Barris family try to adapt to the new life that money brings but they can’t keep up with its new offerings whilst also figuring out relationships, race and culture.
11. All American
All American is the true story of Spencer Paysinger, who moves to a new town and family after he joins Beverly Hills High. But, not everything is smooth as he struggles to adapt to his new life, which is in sharp contrast to what he’s used to.
If you’re one of those people who feel like they’ve exhausted their watch list, these are some of the best black series on Netflix you can watch. Some are so good that they deserve to be watched on repeat.
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