If you are looking for television series with a predominantly African, African-American, Black cast and characters, this list is for you. Here are 17 Black television series to check out and where you can watch and stream them.
17- Blood and Water (2020)
Blood and Water is a South African teenage-focused crime Drama television series. Set in Cape Town, South Africa, it tells the story of Puleng, a high schooler whose sister Phume was kidnapped as part of a human trafficking network Following her birth. Puleng will later discover she has a sister after being invited to a party. She also transfers to a prestigious elite school to further investigate the mystery of her sister. Blood and Water premiered on Netflix in May 2020; now, with two seasons, Blood and Water has received attention from African American celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Lil Nas X. The series stars Ama Qamata, Khosi Ngema, Gail Mabalane, Arno Greeff, and a South African rapper who has made an appearance on the television series.
16- How To Ruin Christmas (2020)
How to Ruin Christmas is another Black television series to check out. It premiered on Netflix in 2020. How to Ruin Christmas is a comedy series that follows the character of Tumi Sello, a reluctant bridesmaid who returns to her dysfunctional family for the first time in years for a Christmas holiday and her sister’s wedding one of the bridesmaids. However, things take An unexpected turn—all two seasons are streaming on Apple TV. The cast includes South African actress, tv personality, and Radio DJ Thando Thabethe, Busi Lurayi, and Yonda Thomas.
15- All American (2018-
Inspired by the life of professional American Football player Spencer Paysinger, All American is a sports drama African American television series depicting the struggle and adventure of a rising high school American football player (Spencer James) from South Los Angles. He is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High. Alongside Daniel Ezra, who portrayed the role of Spencer James, the series also stars Bre-Z, Greta Onieogou, Samantha Logan, Taye Diggs, Cody Christian, Michael Evans Behling, and Monét Mazur. The series premiered in 2018; all four seasons of All Americans can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.
14- Greenleaf (2016-
Oprah Winfrey serves as the executive producer of Greenleaf; the series follows the life of Patriarch (Bishop James Greenleaf) and Matriarch (Lady Mae Greenleaf) alongside the African-American Members of their megachurch. The series unveils the unethical world of the Greenleaf family as scandals, secrets, and lies are revealed. Furthermore, the Greenleaf’s estranged daughter (Grace Greenleaf) returns to the family household after 20 years of the Passing away of her sister. Greenleaf features appearances from Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Merle Dandridge, Desiree Ross, and Lamman Rucker. The series has also featured guest appearances from Oprah Winfrey, LeToya Nicole Luckett, and Patti LaBelle. All five seasons of Greenleaf are streaming on Prime Video.
13- Snowfall (2017-
Snowfall is an American crime drama television series set in Los Angeles during the 1980s around the first cocaine “crack” epidemic. The series explores the outbreak in the city of Los Angeles through the lens of various characters, a twenty years old drug dealer (Franklin Saint) played by British actor Damson Idris, a former Mexican Luchador- a professional wrestler (Gustavo “El Oso” Zapata) played by Sergio Peris- Mencheta, a CIA operative working undercover for the American government in the war against communism (Teddy McDonald) played by Carter Hudson. Emily Rios plays the Mexican crime Boss (Lucia Villanueva). The seven seasoned series are available for streaming on Apple TV.
12- #blackAF (2020)
Now canceled by Netflix, the series initially premiered in April 2020. blackAF is a mockumentary Black-American sitcom created by Kenya Barris [Kenya Barris is best known as the creator of ABC sitcom black-ish ]. The series stars Kenya Barris as a fictionalized version of himself and his black family. Alongside Kenya Barris, the sitcom stars Rashida Jones, Iman Benson, Genneya Walton, Scarlet Spencer, etc. The short-lived sitcom also saw appearances from Ava DuVernay, Tyler Perry, Issa Rae, Scooter Braun, Lena Waithe, and Jay Rock. blackAF is streaming on Netflix.
11- Raising Dion (2019-
Raising Dion is based on a novel by Dennis Liu, adapted into a series. It follows the story of a widowed mother [Nicole] raising her son [Dion] following the death of her husband. However, her son Dion starts to manifest several magical, superhero-like abilities. Nicole tries to keep her son’s gifts a secret with the help of her husband’s best friend Pat while also protecting Dion from people who are out exploiting him while figuring out the origin of his abilities. Ja’Siah Young plays the role of 10 years old Dion. Michael B. Jordan portrays the recurring role of Mark (Nicole’s deceased husband), Alisha Wainwright, Jazmyn Simon, Jason Ritter, and Griffin Robert Faulkner also made appearances in the series. Raising Dion is available for streaming on Netflix.
10- Colin in Black and White (2021-
Created by Ava DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick, the series is the dramatization of the teenage years of athlete Colin Kaepernick and the experiences that led him to become an activist. A Reviewer for Entertainment Weekly described the series as “an uneven but ultimately edifying portrayal of young Colin Kaepernick as a biracial boy growing up in a predominantly white World.” Colin Kaepernick himself serves as the Narrator of the series; Jaden Michael plays the role of young Colin Kaepernick with Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman. Colin in Black and White is streaming on Netflix.
9- The Chi (2018-
The drama series the chi follows the residents living in a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. It mainly explores the life of four Characters. Brandon Johnson, Ronnie Davis, Emmett Washington, and Kevin Williams. The series was created by Lena Waithe, who later appeared in season 3. Alongside some of its main casts like Jason Mitchell, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Jacob Latimore, and Alex Hibbert, a couple of African-American celebrity has also made an appearance in the series from the likes of American rapper and actor Common, La La Anthony, rapper Vic Mensa, and Da Brat. With four seasons, you can stream all seasons on Amazon.
8- Atlanta (2016-
Described as a surreal type of comedy, Atlanta tells the story of Earn, a thirty-something college dropout during his early life living in Atlanta, Georgia. He tries to redeem himself in the eyes of his ex-girlfriend Van, who also happens to be the mother of his daughter. Earn’s cousin Alfred is an upcoming rapper known as “Paper Boi,” and Earn tries to reconnect with him seeing he’s on the verge of stardom, to improve his life and his daughter. Donald Glover, who plays the character of Earn in the series, executively produced and directed the series, which earned him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for A comedy series. He becomes the first African-American African-American category. The series has also received praises and numerous nominations. Atlanta starts Donald Glover, Zazie Beatz, Lakeith Stanfield, and Brian Tyree Henry. All episodes of Atlanta can be streamed on Amazon.
7- Godfather of Harlem (2019-
Set in the early 1960s, Godfather of Harlem tells the story of infamous crime boss Bumpy Johnson, played by (Forest Whitaker) who returns from prison ten years later to find the place he once ruled in shambles. With his streets now controlled by a brutal Italian mob, Bumpy has to do everything to regain control. He goes ahead to form alliances which later leads to a mob war that threatens to tear the whole city of Harlem apart. Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein created the series. Alongside Forest Whitaker, the crime drama series stars Vincent D’Onofrio, IIfenesh Hadera, Nigél Thatch, Lucy Fry, and more. Godfather of Harlem is available for streaming on Amazon.
6- Insecure (2016-
Insecure first premiered in 2016 on HBO, and after five seasons, the series ended. Created by Issa Rae and Larrymore, the comedy-drama series depicts the awkward experience of a contemporary African-American woman. In the first season, which consisted of eight episodes, two protagonist friends, Issa and Molly, who are both in their late 20s, navigate their career and relationship and experience internal struggles, friendship, and the African-American community in modern-day South Los Angeles, California. With five seasons, the series gained praise from critics since the premiere of its first season. Insecure stars Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Natasha Rothwell, Amanda Seales, Y’lan Noel, etc. All episodes of Insecure are streaming on Amazon.
5- The Game (2006-2015)
The Game television series is a spin-off of (Girlfriend). The series first got canceled in 2009 after three seasons, but in 2011, the series picked up a season. The series revolves around one of the characters from the (Girlfriend) series- Melanie Barnett Davis; in the first season, Melanie is a first-year medical school student who follows her boyfriend Derwin Davis to San Diego against her parents’ advice. As the series progresses, Melanie settles,s into a new life. She meets new friends and learns to balance her new roles as both a med student and the partner of a professional football player. The series also focuses on the evolving relationships between the players and their significant others. The series stars Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Pooch Hall, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Brittany Daniel, Hosea Chanchez, and Coby Bell. American Singer-Songwriter Brandy, Lauren London, and Jay Ellis also made appearances in the television series. All nine seasons of The Game are available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
4- Sistas (2019-
Tyler Perry is a household name for producing African-American series and movies; with Sistas, he attempts to create an all-girl cast in their 30s. Sistas is a comedy-drama that follows the lives of four best friends Andrea ‘Andi’ Barnes, an attorney Karen Mott a hair salon owner in a complicated relationship, Daniella’ Danni’ King, an abrasive and young at heart airline supervisor and Sabrina Hollins, a bank worker who falls in love with a man whose sexuality she questions. The girls bond together over friendship, relationships, and what’s it like being a woman in a modern-day world. Sistas stars K.J Smith, Ebony Obisidian, Mignon Von, Novi Brown, Chido Nwokocha, and DeVale Ellis. You can watch the first season of Sistas on Amazon Prime Video.
3- P-Valley (2020-
On P-Valley, the lives of several people who works in a strip club are depicted in the Mississippi Delta. The series explores the life of the unorthodox professional- stripping in a very nuanced and candid way. The first season of the series received praises from critics, especially on how the storyline was explored and the per of the characters in the series. P-Valley is created by Katori Hall and stars Brandee Evans, Nicco Annan, Shannon Thornton, Elarica Johnson, Parker Sawyers, Morroco Omari, and Tyler Lepley. You can stream the first season of P-Valley on Amazon.
2- When They See Us (2019)
When They See Us premiered in 2019 on Netflix, the mini-series was created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay for Netflix. The mini-series is based on the real-life events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and explores the lives and families of the five Black and Latino male suspects who were falsely accused and prosecuted for the rape and assault of a white woman in Central Park, New York City. At the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, the series received 11 nominations. When They Us has an ensemble cast of Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Jovan Adepo, Michael K. Williams, Logan Marshall-Green, Joshua Jackson, Blair Underwood, Vera Farmiga, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Niecy Nash, Aunjanue Ellis, Marsha Stephanie Blake, and Kylie Bunbury. When They Us is streaming on Netflix.
1- House of Payne (2006-
House of Payne concluded with 11 seasons which consisted of 301 episodes; it is one of the longest-running television series with a predominantly African American cast. The series is created by Tyler Perry and follows a multi-generational family living under one roof in Atlanta led by the patriarch Curtis Payne and his stay-at-home wife, Ella. As the series progressed, it handled and featured dark themes and subject matter such as substance abuse and addiction. Cast members include LaVan Davis. Cassi Davis, Allen Payne, Lance Gross, China Anne McClain, Demetria McKinney, Kesha Knight Pulliam, Denise Burse, and Palmer Williams Jr. You can watch all episodes of House of Payne on Amazon Prime Video.
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