Top Black Female Characters in Netflix Originals

When it comes to representation of black women in media, Netflix originals are coming in hot, providing us with numerous examples of well-written, dynamic, black women in their shows and movies. So, here are a few of my personal favorites for you to watch just in time for Black History Month. Or any month really. These Netflix originals are just too good for one month of the year.

 

1. Nola Darling, “She’s Gotta Have It” 2017

Miss Nola Darling is the essence of a modern, millennial woman. She’s a polyamorous, pansexual, sexually liberated, socially conscious woman. But above everything else, she’s flawed. Heavily flawed. She’s rash. She’s hot headed. She can be dishonest. However, that’s what makes her so great. Watching a show about someone who has all the answers would be boring and unrelatable. It’s Nola’s flaws that make her feel so real and why deserves a spot on this list.

2. Tracey Gordon, “Chewing Gum” 2014

Deep down inside (or for some, not that deep down) all of us are Tracey. 24-year-old Tracey is a mega-awkward virgin from an ultra religious upbringing just trying her best to get someone to tear her hymen. While the awkward virgin archetype is one we see often in romantic comedies, it’s rare that we see black women in that role. And Tracey is not just a awkward girl stereotype. Written and played by Michaela Coel, Tracey is a self-realized, inventive and hilarious character. While her romantic struggles may be wild, the emotions she experiences are ones that we can all relate too, as well as highlighting issues that ONLY black women face in the dating world. If you’re looking for a show that’s provides maximum laughs and minimal cringe, "Chewing Gum" is the way to go.

3. Jessica James, “The Incredible Jessica James” 2017

“The Incredible Jessica James” is possibly one of the most charming movies I’ve ever seen. And the most charming aspect of it was the eponymous Jessica James herself. An aspiring playwright and drama teacher, Jessica is just fresh out of a breakup. She strikes up a romance with Boone (Chris O'Dowd), who's also been recently broken up with. The two navigate through the trials and tribulations of adult romances. What I love about Jessica is that she's an independent black woman without being an "independent black woman.™"  Funny as h*ll and charming to boot, Jessica James is truly incredible. 

4.  Too Many To Count, "Black Mirror", 2011-18

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If I had the time, I would list every single black, female character from the British sci-fi series "Black Mirror." I really would. But alas, I would like to keep this list under 20. But when it comes to representation, "Black Mirror" came to slay, b*tch. From horrifying episodes like "Black Museum" to heartwarming like "San Junipero," "Black Mirror" uses science fiction elements to make haunting statements on the human condition and the role that technology has in our lives. The science fiction genre is notoriously overrun with the stories centered around white, male, straight perspectives. So, it's a breath of fresh air to see other stories being told. If you want to read another interesting article on "Black Mirror," read this one here

5.  Raquel, "Crazyhead" 2016

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This show is so slept on. So hear me out. This show has ghosts, comedy and not one but TWO kick*ss female protagonists. Are you sold yet? The story follows two 20-somethings, Raquel and Amy, as they develop their ability to see ghosts and use those abilities to become demon-hunters. What's not to love? Raquel is the loud yet socially awkward part of the duo. Played by Susan Wokoma, Wokoma even won a Royal Television Society award for "Best Onscreen Performance" for the role in 2016. 

Well, there you have it. Some of my personal Netflix favorites from the past few years. However, there are still dozens more that I haven't talked about. But don't let that stop you. Scroll through your queue and see how many shows with well rounded black female characters you can find today. 

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