This past year proved to be a creative surge for Blacks in TV entertainment. After years of being absent from the conversation at top TV networks, Black-themed TV shows became major hits in 2016.
Here are the most impactful Black moments on TV in 2016.
Issa Rae expanded her “Awkward Black Girl” web series and repackaged it as “Insecure” for HBO. “Insecure” became an instant hit by delving into the lives and relationships of young Black women. The comedic timing and willingness to challenge traditional relationship themes made it must-see TV.
Donald Glover’s take on Atlanta’s emerging hip-hop scene provided audiences with a look at the non-glamourous side of the city. “Atlanta” was clever and challenged racial issues in subtle ways that proved to be humorous and thought-provoking.
The Netflix series provided a powerful look at Black culture in New York while proving to be exciting and action-packed. There aren’t many TV series that can quote the works of James Baldwin, show the rich history of Harlem, while also focusing on the theatrics of a Black superhero. The series was so popular that it disrupted Netflix during the first day of its release.
ABC’s “Black-ish” continued to push boundaries in comedy and storytelling. Episodes that focused on the ’N-word’ and the significance of the Obamas’ last year at the White House made audiences laugh and think about important social issues.
“Queen Sugar” proved to be amazing by its examination of a Black family in the rural South. While Southern cities such as Atlanta and Miami are often portrayed on TV, it’s rare to see stories of rural Blacks on screen. The excellent writing and direction of Ava DuVernay made it one of the biggest hits of 2016.