The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
It’s important to use this Black History Month to really educate ourselves on how we can be better allies, no matter what your racial identity is. Ranging from comedies to dramas to documentaries, these three Netflix series will leave you wanting to be the change that we need to make in the world.
Starting on a more comedic note, this Netflix show by the creators of Black-ish and Mixed-ish is a necessity to watch. The show is in a mockumentary format based on the life of Kenya Barris and his family. Kenya Barris, for those who may not know, is the creator of more entertainment industry staples than I can count. He’s very focused on promoting black excellence, which is a major theme in this show. It’s a really good mix of comedic and serious topics and definitely seems to revive the mockumentary format back to its original glory, I can’t recommend it enough.
2. Dear White People
Also a Netflix show, Dear White People battles a lot more serious topics, but in a way that is just as educational as it is intriguing. It is centered around a college podcast, taking the same name as the show, at the PWI (Predominantly White University) of Winchester. Winchester is an obviously fictional school but is supposed to represent an Ivy League environment. What’s really interesting about this show is that it has a small group of main characters and uses each episode to look into a singular situation from different perspectives, which is not only my favorite thing for a show to have, but also very important for a show that’s spreading a meaningful message as this one. When I first watched this show it immediately became one of those shows that you can’t stop raving to your friends about — it’s really a moving piece that you won’t be able to stop watching until it’s over.
3. When They See Us
Saving the best for last, When They See Us. Since I used the word “serious” to describe the last show, the only word that can come to mind when thinking of this show is “real.” It took me a while to get through this show since it’s based on a true and tragic story. The Central Park Five is a group of young, black men around 15-16 years old that were convicted with racial motivation for sexual assault with no evidence. Even the women that was assaulted stated that the man who assaulted her was white. Everything that the justice system in this country stands for was ignored during this horrifying case. It’s a hard series to get through but it’s definitely worth it and even, I would say, necessary to watch in order to educate ourselves on the racial injustice that lives within the roots of this country. Although I myself am a native New Yorker, this five-part series was an eyeopener to what’s been happening in our own city to our own neighbors and friends. No matter how long it takes you to watch it fully, it’s the definition of a must-watch.
Out of these three shows, I would recommend When They See Us the most, especially during Black History Month. I don’t think many people are inclined to disagree with me on that just because of the effect this series can have on people. If you have the time, I promise that all three of these series are something to remember.