You Will Just Love These Black-Centered TV Shows

"We're in the golden age of television" has become a clichéd phrase in recent years. Not every show is a dark drama on HBO or something supernatural on Netflix - even if these are the ones dominating the awards cycle.


If you want a break from dragons and demagorgons and actually want to see some television that represents real-life experiences, we have a few shows for you to try. 


Black-centric storylines have not always been given the attention they deserve. Here are a few shows that applaud diversity and have authentic experiences at their heart. If you're not already watching them you soon will!

Chewing Gum

 

Michaela Coel is killing it. Before having two roles in tech-horror series 'Black Mirror', one of which launched a meme, the Londoner hit it big creating and starring in a sitcom called 'Chewing Gum' in 2015.

Drawing on her life as a Londoner growing up with Ghanaian parents, Coel's Tracey Gordon is a 24 year old trapped between religious beliefs and wanting to explore her womanhood. 'Chewing Gum' brilliant shows the struggles of finding your own way when carrying cultural baggage, and takes absurd turns with excellent comedic timing.

With two series and two Baftas, the hilarious 'Chewing Gum' needs to be on your list. It's not confirmed, but a third series could be made in future. We want to see more! Until then, keep an eye out for 'Been So Long', a musical starring Michaela that Netflix snapped up for millions of dollars, it's biggest UK deal ever.

 

 

Mister Brau



If you're not a Portuguese speaker, but don't mind dubbing or subtitles, the ground-breaking 'Mister Brau' could be perfect for you. The show made serious waves when it aired on Brazilian network Globo in 2015, showing a leading cast of Afro-Brazilians in a prime-time show for the first time.


'Mister Brau' stars real-life stars and married couple Lazaro Ramos and Taís Araujo, as they juggle raising a family with the demands of the music world. Its portrayal of a successful Afro-Brazilian couple especially struck a chord, owing to the stereotype of successful black Brazilians marrying out of their race.


The couple, who have been married since 2006 and have two children, have frequently smashed barriers in their careers in the arts. Taís was the first black woman to land the starring role in a novella, when she was just 17, and Lazaro has played a number of marginalised characters and is an outspoken champion of Afro-Brazillian culture.

In a country that is 50% black yet fails to appeal to this huge segment of its population, 'Mister Brau' is a huge step forward and an important programme for Afro-Brazilians. 


Black-ish

 

Few shows have tackled the complexities of black American identity like 'Black-ish'. There's a reason it has won 23 NAACP Image Awards in its three year run! Anthony Anderson is Andre 'Dre' Johnson Sr., an advertising exec who worries that his kids are too disconnected from African American culture.


Tracee-Ellis Ross, who stars as the mother Dr. Rainbow 'Bow' Johnson, was raised by hippies, and who identifies as biracial. The show tackles racism, cultural identity, police brutality, and sexuality cleverly, sensitively, and with great humor.

 

 
Grown-ish

Starring Yara Shahidi, daughter Zoey's story continues in this 'Black-ish' spin-off. 'Grown-ish' is a modern coming-of-age series following the eldest Johnson daughter as she goes off to college. 

Staying true to its roots, 'Grown-ish' tackles black identity too, but with the added prism of a college environment, student politics, and Zoey's journey into adulthood. The first series has received rave reviews, and the show has already been renewed for a second season - and season one hasn't even finished airing.

 

Atlanta

Atlanta has always been the epicentre of new movements in hiphop. The city has has given us Migos, Future, T.I, and Gucci Mane, just to name a few. So, Childish Gambino, bonafide hiphop star and actor, starring in a show about the Atlanta rap scene is hardly a stretch.

Written and directed by Donald Glover too, he stars as Earn, an aspiring rapper who has dropped out of Princeton University, and trying to make it on the music scene - through his much more successful cousin - and do right by his daughter, Lottie.

It has won two Emmys, garnered critical acclaim, and stars Donald Glover - need any more reasons to watch it? It also features an incredible soundtrack. Season two is well underway, so you have plenty episodes to binge. 

 
So these are the shows we think you'd love! What are your favorites?

Let us know on Twitter and the comments below, let's share some TV tips!


Catch us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more culture, fashion, and news about the things you care about.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published