10 TV Shows with Black Leads That You Need to Be Watching Right Now

Now more than ever, is there a need for Black voices and increasing Black perspective. Get inspired by some Black talent with our top picks for various shows that you should be watching right now for Black History Month.

  1. 1. Dear White People 

    This Netflix original (based on the movie Dear White People) is a must watch, not only for addressing hard-hitting issues related to race, but also for its exceptional acting and storytelling. Through the perspective of a Black student group at the private predominantly white school, Winchester University, this show portrays the different obstacles that people of color have to face within white spaces. It also showcases various cultural biases, while highlighting how racial injustice directly affects politics. Season one, two, and three for Dear White People are available to stream on Netflix and a fourth season will be available later on this year.

  2. 2. Insecure

    Insecure HBO Trailer

    Season four of this wildly successful show is being released this year and viewers could not be more excited. Insecure is a show centered around a few millennial women that don't exactly fit the mold of "strong and confident" black women. The two main characters, Issa and Molly, each have their own individual insecurities which only makes this comedy series so much more relatable. Keep an eye out for the release of Insecure season four on HBO this year and make sure to catch up on previous episodes on Hulu.

  3. 3. Black-ish

    Black-ish

    Black-ish is on its sixth season this year and has earned subsequent series spin-offs, Grown-ish and Mixed-ish. Black-ish is about a Black family living in a nice neighborhood due to the success of Dre Johnson's great job as an advertising executive in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. This show explains how Dre still wants his children to have a sense of their cultural identity within their neighborhood, their activities, and their individual schools. Each episode of Black-ish is only about 30 minutes long, which makes it perfect to watch during a study break or even during your binge session. You can watch all seasons of Black-ish on Hulu

  4. 4. On My Block

    On My Block is another Netflix original series that follows the storylines of Cesar, Monse, Jamal, and Ruby as they navigate the dangerous streets of Los Angeles. The foursome find themselves in some very sticky situations involving gang affiliation, gang violence, and racial profiling all while still being in high school. This series makes sure to saturate the plot with hilarious dialogue and you'll be sure to enjoy each cast member, especially Jasmin. Want to hear good news? Netflix announced last year that this series has been renewed for a third season. 

  5. 5. The Get Down  

    The Get Down has all the elements of the perfect show: drama, crime, music, and a love story. Set to a 70s New York City time period, this show follows the emergence of disco and hip-hop music through the lives of Mylene, Ezekiel, and their friends who are all pursuing music careers. Although it isn't easy living in The Bronx, the group explores their own identities as they straddle things like higher education, religion, and the drug game. Although The Get Down was cancelled before it was renewed for a third season, you can still stream it on Netflix and listen to its amazing soundtrack on Spotify, Amazon, and Apple Music.

  6. 6. Pose  

    Pose TV Series

    FX's newest show, Pose, is a game changer. Paired with an almost all trans cast, this plot is set to the New York City ballroom scene in the early 80s. This is when Madonna was the number one artist with her song "Vogue" and these underground competitions were necessary for you and your "house" to attend. This series underlines topics that are still relevant in 2020 like trans and gay rights, as well as, destigmatizing HIV/AIDS. Every look given by each character is a straight serve and you'll fall in love with the retro playlist that accompanies this outstanding series. 

  7. 7. All American

    Spencer James, played by Daniel Ezra, is a star football player at his high school and his skills are not only recognized by his teammates, but also, a scouting coach from Beverly Hills. Spencer is recruited and moves to Beverly Hills to live with the coach and his family. Coach Billy's son is the star quarterback and has a hard time adjusting to living and playing with Spencer. All American is a show about overcoming challenges and true friendship. Watch it Wednesdays on the CW

  8. 8. Grown-ish 

    This spin-off of the show, Black-ish, is hilarious and fun. The Johnson's daughter, Zoey, played by Yara Shahidi, has finally moved out and enrolled in college. The show features so many famous faces like Chloe and Halle, Diggy Simmons, and Trevor Jackson that you're bound to fall in love with the cast. This show is real AF – within these first three seasons there's been various hook-ups, several talking stages, break-ups, raging parties, and even a pregnancy (woah). You can stream Grown-ish on Freeform and Hulu.

  9. 9. Wu Tang: An American Saga  

    Wu-Tang: An American Saga Hulu

    Every great group has a compelling origin story and Wu Tang: An American Saga delivers this experience conveniently to your screen. This new series emerged in 2019 and captures the start of the Wu Tang Clan, a rap group from the early 90s. This series will leave you on the edge of your seat and fully engaged the entire season.

  10. 10. When They See Us  

    When They See Us by Netflix is a true story based on The Central Park Five. The Central Park Five is the name coined for five young boys who were wrongfully profiled and convicted for a crime they didn't commit back in 1989. This series pinpoints the events that led up to the crime, the trial itself, and follows their lives after the trial's outcome. This show forces you to see the numerous injustices against black men within the criminal justice system and honestly, it isn't easy to watch. Fortunately, this show was given the necessary attention that it deserved and even earned Jharrel Jerome, who played as Korey Wise, an Emmy.

There are so many shows out now with Black leads that are each relatable in their own way. Happy watching!