The landscape of diverse storytelling on TV looks brighter than ever as numerous streaming platforms and television channels are making more strides to share programming featuring and about people of color. The Black diaspora, in particular, is reflected in some of today’s most talked about shows, which is great news for everyone looking to immerse themselves in the richness of the culture.
We’ve taken the liberty to compile a list (in alphabetical order) of some of the best Black shows on streaming platforms and television. Take a look.
1. Abbott Elementary
The now Emmy-winning sitcom is a crown jewel of the ABC network. The series follows a group of elementary school teachers as they try to shape the young minds at a Philadelphia school. At the heart of Abbott Elementary is the overly optimistic Janine Teagues (Quinta Brunson) who is constantly trying to find her way as a new teacher and as an adult. Thankfully for her, she has her coworkers to help her along the way.
2. All American
All American continues to be a show that can captivate fans, even in its fifth season. The series is inspired by the real-life of NFL player Spencer Paysinger, and yet, also deeply rooted in the fictional storylines created by the writers. With each season the show further blurs the lines between the haves and the have-nots as lead character Spencer James (Daniel Ezra) and his friends continue maturing into adulthood.
Where to watch in the US: seasons 1-5 are available to stream on Netflix.
Where to watch in the UK: seasons 1-5 are available to stream on ITV/ITVX in the UK.
3. All American: Homecoming
All American: Homecoming is a spinoff series that follows Simone Hicks (Geffri Hightower) as she navigates her collegiate tennis career at a historically Black college (HBCU). The friends she collects while at school each have their own journeys and experiences that they often find difficult to manage. So naturally, that means some drama is in store.
Where to watch in the US: seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Netflix.
Where to watch in the UK: there isn't currently a streaming partner in the UK.
When it was announced that Bel-Air would be a dramatic version of the 90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, there were plenty of skeptics who wondered what the new show would look like. However, the series is one of Peacock’s biggest hits and it continues to collect fans. With that said, Bel-Air certainly gets our vote of confidence as the reimagined characters have layers that weren’t present in the original show.
5. Black Cake
Black Cake is one of the newest entries on the list, and it's already proven to be a must-watch series. Based on Charmaine Wilkerson's New York Times-bestselling book, it shows the harrowing tale of one woman as she escapes a mysterious and dangerous past to essentially reinvent herself. Once she dies, she leaves behind audio recordings for her children detailing her truth.
Where to watch in the US: season 1 is streaming on Hulu.
Where to watch in the UK: we're still waiting on official information about a UK release.
6. The Chi
The Lena Waithe series The Chi continues to be a hit with critics and viewers alike. The show follows multiple characters in the city of Chicago as they try to better themselves in their hometown while avoiding the dangers that exist all around. On a side note, the drama does a great job of highlighting the spectrum of sexuality and sexual orientation.
Where to watch in the US: seasons 1-6A are streaming on Paramount Plus with Showtime. The second half of season 6 has yet to receive an official premiere date.
Where to watch in the UK: seasons 1-5 are streaming on Disney Plus and we expect season 6 to join the platform.
7. First Wives Club
The reimagined version of the 1996 film starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton features a cast of Black women led by Grammy-Award-winning singer Jill Scott as they try to figure out the rocky roads of their marriages. First Wives Club is particularly interesting as a women-ensemble show as it tells the stories of what happens after you meet "Prince Charming" and achieve your supposed "happily ever after."
Where to watch in the US: seasons 1-3 are available to stream on BET Plus.
Where to watch in the UK: sadly, it's currently not streaming in the UK
8. Godfather of Harlem
The dramatized story of Harlem legend Bumpy Johnson is one of the most exciting stories on TV. Starring Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, Godfather of Harlem takes place in the 1960s in New York City and shows the intersection of The Civil Rights Movement and the underworld’s drug trade.
Where to watch in the US: seasons 1-3 are available on Hulu and MGM Plus.
Where to watch in the UK: seasons 1 and 2 are available on Lionsgate Plus in the UK.
If you liked Mara Brock Akil’s Girlfriends, you'll love Harlem. The Prime Video sitcom follows four friends as they do their best to navigate relationships, friendships and the path toward their professional ambitions.
Where to watch in the US and the UK: Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Prime Video.
10. I'm a Virgo
I'm a Virgo takes viewers into the world of science-fiction a bit as it follows the story of a sheltered 13-foot-tall giant. Once the young man gets a taste of what it's like to live in the real world and have friends, he quickly learns that he was sheltered in large part to protect him from the cruelty of humanity.
Where to watch in the US and the UK: season 1 is available on Prime Video.
Lupin’s Assane Diop (Omar Sy) has easily become one of the world’s favorite gentleman thieves. His superior intellect and suave ability to talk himself out of most bad situations have made him an exceptional criminal. Although to be fair, he’s ironically committing crimes to expose bigger crimes that claimed his father as a victim. The series is recorded in French but is dubbed in English.
Where to watch in the US and the UK: seasons 1-3 are streaming on Netflix.
12. The Ms. Pat Show
Ms. Pat is not your traditional TV matriarch, which is partially why the series continues to grow its viewership. The wife and mother never bites her tongue when talking to anyone and will give her all to make the best of any situation. Even if that situation is being stuck in a small Midwest town where there are only a handful of minorities.
Where to watch in the US: Seasons 1 -3 are available to stream on BET Plus.
Where to watch in the UK: Sadly, it's currently not streaming in the UK.
13. The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder
When the Proud Family premiered on the Disney Channel in 2001, the cartoon instantly grew fans among kids and adults as it showed how Penny Proud dealt with middle-school angst and her interesting, yet funny family. So when Disney Plus debuted The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder reboot series, viewers were full of praise for the brand new episodes with an older Penny.
Where to watch in the US and the UK: Seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Disney Plus.
P-Valley has certainly earned its place on this list. The drama focuses on the various criminal elements and manipulation that occur behind the scenes of one of Mississippi’s premiere clubs, The Pynk. As the series continues to increase in popularity, we applaud the writers and producers for bravely showing the spectrum of sexuality that truly exists in the Black community.
Where to watch in the US: seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on the Starz app.
Where to watch in the UK: you can find seasons 1 and 2 on Lionsgate Plus.
15. Rap Sh!t
Following the series finale of Insecure, fans were a bit worried about what was next for Issa Rae. Enter the sitcom Rap Sh!t. The comedy centers around two young women in Miami trying to break into today’s rap industry. However, they use some interesting, not always legal, ways to achieve success.
Where to watch in the US: season 1 is available to stream on HBO Max, and season 2 premieres on the streamer on November 9.
Where to watch in the UK: season 1 is available to stream on Sky.
16. Reasonable Doubt
Reasonable Doubt is a new drama executive produced by Kerry Washington that made quite the impact on viewers in its freshman season. The show follows a brilliant attorney as she represents some interesting clients, all while dealing with her personal life that is in disarray. For those that like soapy dramas, this is a must-watch for you.
Where to watch in the US: season 1 is streaming on Hulu.
Where to watch in the UK: season 1 is streaming on Disney Plus.
17. Top Boy
The first two seasons of Top Boy were released on Channel 4 in the UK. However, the series found a new home on Netflix for seasons 3, 4 and 5, and fans continue to be drawn into the gritty crime drama that follows London drug dealers in their pursuit of power and money. Netflix is technically calling seasons 3, 4 and 5 on the platform seasons 1, 2 and 3. For those wondering if you need to watch the original two seasons over on Channel 4, in short, the answer is no. Netflix did a bit of retooling when they acquired the rights to the series.
Where to watch in the US and the UK: The last three seasons of the show are currently streaming on Netflix.
18. The Upshaws
The Upshaws provides a nice laugh for those fans of comedians Wanda Sykes and Mike Epps. The series centers around a working-class blended family as they try to navigate their family drama and financial woes. The banter between Skyes and Epps’ characters alone is enough reason to tune in.
Where to watch in the US and the UK: seasons 1 -4 are available to stream on Netflix.
19. The Wonder Years
The reimagined version of the 80s/90s hit show follows a Black family in Montgomery, Alabama in the late 1960s. While the overall tone of the show is reminiscent of the classic comedy, The Wonders Years of today is different in that it highlights issues of race that its predecessor really never addressed.
Where to watch in the US: seasons 1 and 2 are available to stream on Hulu.
Where to watch in the UK: Disney Plus has seasons 1-2 available to stream.
20. Young Love
Young Love is a an amazing animated comedy from Oscar-winner Matthew Cherry. It follows a millennial couple as they try to pursue their dreams while parenting their young daughter. Issa Rae, Kid Cudi and Loretta Devine are just a few of the actors voicing characters in the series.
Where to watch in the US: season 1 is streaming on Max.
Where to watch in the UK: we are waiting to receive official word as to when/if season 1 airs in the country.