When you're obsessed with self-exploration and representation through media, you come to realize that there are certain TV shows every Black woman should see. Over the past few years, it's become clear that directors and producers are realizing that diversity sells, and that audiences are ready to see characters and narratives that we all can relate to. This is especially true for Black millennial women. Content creators are finally putting the Black woman's narrative at the forefront, and it is a long awaited revolution. Different narratives of what it means to be a Black woman in today's world are finally getting to be explored, and that's why it's so important for Black female viewers to to check out TV series featuring Black female leads.
And thankfully, there's a lot to choose from. Shows like Issa Rae's Insecure or Micaela Cole's Chewing Gum may be very different, for instance but they both offer badly needed representation and are must-sees. Many of these TV shows air on primetime television, while others are available on streaming services, but all of the 13 shows listed below are worth the watch, especially if you're a Black woman.
Issa Rae's HBO comedy Insecure is a strong take on Black millennial culture that shows Black women differently than through the usual TV tropes of being angry, dysfunctional, or glamorous. The series follows Issa (Issa Rae) and Lawrence’s (Jay Ellis) as they navigate their lives, and the show is revolutionary in its depiction of Black men and women seeking to find their voices in their careers, explore their sexuality, confront casual racism and sexism, and so on.
ABC's Black-ish has become a comedy unafraid to address controversies head on. Featuring powerhouse women like Tracee Ellis Ross and Jenifer Lewis, the show has been crucial in illustrating the shifting perceptions of Black motherhood. Plus, Ross' realness on what it's like to be a biracial woman is refreshing.
3. How To Get Away With Murder
Shonda Rhimes has mastered the art of giving Black women strong lead roles, and ABC's How to Get Away With Murder has a powerful, smart, yet incredibly flawed protagonist (Viola Davis). The series is full of suspense and drama, but it ultimately shows the deep desires of Black women to have love and acceptance.
FOX's Pitch may have been cancelled, but it's still worth checking out, if you can. The show focuses on Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury), a young pitcher who becomes the first woman to play in Major League Baseball for the San Diego Padres. It's the kind of great role we don't get see many women, Black or otherwise, have on television, and that makes it a worthy watch.
5. Chewing Gum
Netflix's Chewing Gum revolves around Tracey (Michaela Coel), and follows her honest and hilarious journey to relieve herself of sexual repression as a result of living in a hyper-religious household. This show allows Black women to have a very open and raw conversation about sex and life.
6. The Bold Type
The Bold Type, on Freeform, is about three young women and their journey working for a Cosmo-style magazine. Kat's (Aisha Dee) unapologetically feminist attitude towards her sexuality is great for young Black women to see, and in the season's first couple of episodes, race, sexuality, and sexism in the workplace are all explored in real, meaningful ways.
7. Queen Sugar
OWN's Queen Sugar is a drama about a Southern Black family portrayed in a light that is rarely seen on television. The story explores familial redemption after tragedy, and it tackles subjects like police brutality, drug addiction, sexual assault, and interracial relationships.
8. Being Mary Jane
Being Mary Jane is about broadcast journalist Mary Jane Paul (Gabrielle Union), who juggles being a successful on air reporter and having a complicated family life, all while searching for romance. The series, on BET, is sexy, smart, and relatable for any woman, but especially a Black woman, trying to create and find her own happiness.
9. The Breaks
VH1's The Breaks follows three friends as they work to make their mark in the '90s hip-hop industry. One of these people is the hard hustling Nikki (Afton Williamson), who won't take no for an answer, and her persistence is something most Black women can relate to when it comes to breaking down barriers.
10. Loosely Exactly Nicole
This hilarious comedy on MTV, starring Nicole Byer, is all about confidence. Byer's honest take on being out in the world on your own, fending for yourself, is everything.
Created by and starring comedian and social media star Quinta Brunson, Broke is the story about ambitious Black millennials. The 11-episode, YouTube Red scripted comedy follows a group of friends and their financial struggles in Los Angeles.
12. Crazy Head
Crazy Head is a Netflix horror-comedy about best friends, Raquel (Susan Wokoma) and Amy (Cara Theobold), who are figuring out their 20s while also fighting demons and ghouls masked in human bodies. Wokoma's character is unapologetic and badass on tackling these demons, whether they be her own or that of others.
13. Fresh Meat
On Youtube's Fresh Meat, Zawe Ashton plays a college freshman named Vod who tries to learn how to cope with the pressures of new independence and womanhood. The series is hilarious, but it also tackles difficult situations like drug testing.
There is power and strength in seeing Black millennial women everywhere, especially on-screen.