Today I want to share some BIPOC (Black, Indigenous & People of Colour) centered television shows that I highly recommend. It’s important to watch media created by people of colour with a predominately black/indigenous cast instead of seeing them just pop up in token roles. We need more representation. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Created by Anthony Hemingway and produced by Curtis Jackson (50 Cent), Power tells the story of wealthy nightclub owner: James St. Patrick and his family. In the public eye, he’s a successful and charming business owner in New York City. However, under the alias of Ghost, he’s a ruthless drug kingpin trying to escape the criminal world by becoming legit. Through lies, deceit and a reckless partner in crime (Tommy Egan), James climbs his way to the top; neglecting his wife and children in the process. When James runs into former sweetheart – Angela Valdes – at his nightclub Truth, the pair rekindle their love through a secret affair. What James doesn’t know, is that Angela works for the FBI and her biggest case is to track down the notorious Ghost and bring him to justice. My husband introduced me to Power and we are now up to the second installment: Power Book II: Ghost. It’s so worth checking out.
2.) When They See Us
This four episode miniseries was created, co-written and directed by Ava DuVernay. Based on a tragic true story, it explores the lives and families of five male suspects of colour who were falsely accused and incarcerated on charges related to the assault/rape of a woman in Central Park, New York. Despite being nowhere near the scene of the crime, the boys were targeted based on the colour of their skin and sent to prison for 7+ years. It’s worth watching the Oprah special afterwards as she interviews Ava and the real members of the Central Park Five. It’s heartbreaking. I highly recommend it.
3.) The Last O.G.
If you want a laugh, I recommend checking out The Last O.G. It follows former felon, Tray Barker, who is recently discharged from prison after serving 15 years. He returns to his old Brooklyn neighbourhood only to discover his former girlfriend has two teenage children… and they’re his! Tray struggles to adjust to the modern gentrification of the world he once knew, as well trying to forge a relationship with his kids. Not to mention, his ex-girlfriend is now married to a white man! With the help of a few friends and his roommates at a halfway house, Tray seeks to become a better man and father. It’s hilarious! It just got renewed for a fourth season – yay!
4.) Dear White People
This Netflix series follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution, touching on issues surrounding modern American race relations. Each episode revolves around a different character as they navigate various forms of discrimination and racial situations. It’s funny but poignant; highlighting the different ways white people are blind to their own prejudice. It also covers internal racism and what it means to be ‘black enough.’ I really enjoyed watching it. The fourth and final season will air either this year or the next.
5.) The Good Lord Bird
Last but not least, I want to mention The Good Lord Bird, which is new to Stan. There is only one season, containing 7 episodes in total. Whilst it is directed by actor Ethan Hawke, the majority of the cast are black, including notable figures in history such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. Based on a true story, it follows notorious, god-fearing abolitionist John Brown on his quest to emancipate all slaves in The United States of America. The series is narrated by fictional character Henry Shackleford, who joins John Brown’s team disguised as a girl under the nickname Onion. Finally, I want to mention that several episodes have been directed by people of colour and women.
Let me know if you’ve seen any of these television shows. Feel free to leave more recommendations below. I want to continue supporting and uplifting black voices.
Thanks for reading!
Peace & Love xoxo