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Best shows to stream for Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to shine a light on some of the best shows on the top streaming platforms that highlight one or more crucial elements of the Black experience. Featuring award-winning talents, these are episodic tales of community, endurance, coming-of-age struggles, and preservation against strife of all kinds. Please enjoy our curation of the best shows to stream for Black History Month, featuring titles from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO.

After checking out our roundup of the best shows, you may want to dive into our list of the best movies to stream for Black History Month, along with our roundup of the best Black films on Netflix.

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America (2021)

High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America
tv-14 1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Stephen Satterfield
In High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, an inspiring and utterly mouth-watering docuseries, food journalist Stephen Satterfield journeys around the world to trace and follow the origins of Black cuisine. Stops along the series include parts of Africa, the Carolinas, and Texas. In his explorations of renowned and recognizable dishes, Satterfield sits down with fellow chefs and community members for a Black History education like no other.
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America | Official Trailer | Netflix

Dear White People (2017)

Dear White People
tv-ma 4 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton
Created by Justin Simien
Based on the much-lauded 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People follows a group of Black students at the fictional Winchester University, a predominately white campus. Leaning on comedy and satire, the show follows the individual experiences of the main cast as they grapple with self-identity, activism, political correctness, and racism in a world that claims to be socially aware, albeit only to an extent. Created by Justin Simien (the writer-director of Dear White People, the film) and featuring narration from none other than Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking BadThe Mandalorian), Netflix’s Dear White People is savage and hilarious, oftentimes in the same breath. This is why we love it.
Dear White People: Vol. 4 | Official Trailer | Netflix

Black Lightning (2018)

Black Lightning
79 %
tv-14 4 Seasons
Genre Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Drama
Cast Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams
Created by Salim Akil
Premiering on January 16, 2018, The CW’s Black Lightning is an adaptation of the DC Comics character and story, penned by Tony Isabella and Trever Von Eeden. Starring Cress Williams as the titular hero, the show follows Jefferson Pierce, the man who once bore the Black Lightning moniker but traded his cape for a peaceful life with his wife and two daughters. But when a gang of long-ago villains rears its head once more, the city of Freeland will suffer. Thus, Black Lightning returns. Combining humor, superhero action set pieces, and well-balanced and incisive social commentary, Black Lightning is a fitting addition to Netflix’s library of comic books, heroes, and villains, with the first three seasons available to stream. A fourth and final season is currently airing on The CW.

Atlanta (2016)

93 %
tv-ma 3 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield
Created by Donald Glover
In Atlanta, cousins Earn Marks (Donald Glover), an ambitious manager, and Alfred Miles (Brian Tyree Henry), an aspiring rapper, are trying to make a name for themselves in the Atlanta music scene. Through four seasons, the family unit, along with supporting friends, scrimp, struggle, and laugh their way into whatever limelight they can foster. Balancing drama and comedy in a way that keeps landing the show a myriad of awards, Atlanta is an alluring series you don’t want to miss.

Wu-Tang: An American Saga (2019)

Wu-Tang: An American Saga
tv-ma 2 Seasons
Genre Drama
Cast Ashton Sanders, Siddiq Saunderson, Johnell Young
Created by RZA, Alex Tse
Premiering on Hulu in September 2019, Wu-Tang: An American Saga chronicles the formation of the titular rap group. Taking place in an early 1990s New York City riddled with crack cocaine, Bobby Diggs (RZA) seeks a creative path through the hardships and hurdles of the depressive city. His artistic vision culminates with the formation of Wu-Tang, uniting a dozen black artists to unleash a sound and words that the world had never heard before. Taking some creative liberties with the subject matter, Wu-Tang is an emotionally raw and largely authentic portrayal of the group’s rise to stardom.
Wu-Tang: An American Saga Season 2 Official Trailer | Hulu

black-ish (2014)

77 %
tv-14 8 Seasons
Genre Comedy
Cast Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Marcus Scribner
Created by Kenya Barris
Black-ish is a long-running ABC series created by Kenya Barris, which follows the day-in-the-life tribulations of the Johnson family, an upper-class family made up of father Andre (Anthony Anderson), his wife Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), and their five kids. Shining a light on cultural assimilation, identity, and racial issues, the series uses comedy and satire to present an all-encompassing portrait of the Black experience. Premiering in 2014, all seven seasons of the show are available to stream on Hulu.

Free Meek (2019)

Free Meek
1 Season
Genre Documentary
Cast Meek Mill
This five-part true-crime documentary series looks at the life of the Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. In 2017, he was arrested for probation violations, the original sentence bestowed upon him by a racially unjust legal system. Through interviews with Meek Mill, Jay-Z, activists, and legal experts, the biased nature of the case is brought to light. Corruption is on display in this docuseries, one that doesn’t shy from infuriation and social awareness. All five episodes are available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Free Meek - Official Trailer | Prime Video

Watchmen (2019)

tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Crime, Drama, Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Cast Regina King, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jeremy Irons
Created by Damon Lindelof
HBO Max finds Lost-alum Damon Lindelof at the height of his episodic powers. A continuation of the Watchmen graphic novel, the series follows Angela Abar (Regina King), a Tulsa police officer doing everything in her power to fight against the onslaught of white supremacists in her town. But in the wake of a tragic strike against law enforcement, a new law is passed that allows officers to hide their identities behind masks. Donning her own disguise, Abar operates as Sister Night, a vigilante taking the fight to the racist forces roaming the streets.

Insecure (2016)

84 %
tv-ma 5 Seasons
Genre Comedy, Drama
Cast Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis
Created by Larry Wilmore, Issa Rae
HBO’s Insecure is a loose adaptation of creator Issa Rae’s successful web series, Awkward Black Girl. Starring Issa Rae as herself and Yvonne Orji as her best friend, Molly, the series unpacks the Black female experience through sharp comedic writing and brilliant acting from the larger-than-life talents, set against the backdrop of sunny Los Angeles. A nearly-perfect comedy-drama, the impact grows from season to season, making for one of the best binges of this roundup. The first four seasons are available to stream on HBO and HBO Max, with a fifth and final season in development.

I May Destroy You (2020)

I May Destroy You
86 %
tv-ma 1 Season
Genre Drama
Cast Michaela Coel, Weruche Opia, Paapa Essiedu
Created by Michaela Coel
I May Destroy You stars Michaela Coel as Arabella, a successful writer that suffers through a traumatic date-rape experience in the show’s first episode. Meshing dark humor with heart-wrenching drama and featuring a primarily Black ensemble of British talents, the series is a mighty and brave take on sexual assault in the #MeToo era but also a masterful observation of overseas diversity. Through music and dialects, the show paints an ever-changing mural of black life in London for straight women, gay men, and ethnicities of every kind. The show has appeared on several “best series” 2020 year-end roundups and is available to stream on HBO and HBO Max.

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