Here Are A Few Good TV Shows To Stream Featuring Black Actors

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Feb. 28 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Despite being in the golden age of television, I find the abundance of streaming shows to be lacking in certain content, specifically, shows with Black actors in leading roleswhose characters are also multi-dimensional. I’d rather root for an interesting villain whose motivation resonates with me over a boring, stereotypical protagonist any day.

Fortunately, in recent years, the success of “Insecure” and “All American: Homecoming” has helped create shows that fit my criteria. So here’s a list of top TV shows with Black actors in leading roles. The list provides something for everyone, whether you seek diverse narratives, compelling stories, or just looking for something that will make you laugh.


Where to watch: Disney+

Iwájú follows Tola, a wealthy girl, and her best friend, Kole, living in futuristic Lagos, Nigeria. This coming-of-age story explores themes of class, innocence, and challenging the status quo as Tola and Kole discover hidden secrets and the dangers of their worlds. Iwájú means “the future” in the Yoruba language and stars Simisola Gbadamosi, Dayo Okeniyi (The Hunger Games), Femi Branch, Siji Soetan, and Weruche Opia (“I May Destroy You”).

Criminal Record

Where to watch: Apple TV

Cush Jumbo (“The Good Wife”) and Peter Capaldi (“Dr. Who”) play detectives who are drawn to an old murder case by an anonymous phone call. Despite both being brilliant in their own right, the two detectives clash, engage in a tug-of-war over the case, and have to learn to find common ground in a polarized Britain.

Discussing race and biases are some themes that Jumbo helped navigate as an executive producer for “Criminal Record.” In an NPR interview, Jumbo said it was “actually quite cathartic to look at how to frame it in a way that helps an audience to not just sit watching a show which is gratuitous for the wrong reasons but actually makes you want to talk about stuff afterward.”

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Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur

Where to watch: Disney+, Hulu, Apple, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Sling TV.

This animated series follows teenage genius Lunella Lafayette, who accidentally opens a portal that brings a red Tyrannosaurus Rex into New York City. Not to be deterred, she decides to live a double life as a heroine called Moon Girl,” alongside the T-Rex, Devil Dinosaur.

Diamond White (Empire, The Bold and the Beautiful) voices Moon Girl and features a star-studded regular and recurring voice cast, including Alfre Woodard, Sasheer Zamata, Jennifer Hudson, Mae Jemison, Jackée Harry, and Laurence Fishburne. The second premiered this month, so indulge your inner child and check it out.


Where To watch: NBC, Peacock, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV.

Shanola Hampton produces and stars as Gabi Mosely, who was abducted as a teen but escaped. As an adult, she makes it her life’s mission to shine a light on missing people, specifically missing people of color. Mosely is lauded for her ability to find those whose cases are impossible or run cold, which is partly due to a major secret: She’s keeping her abductor (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) chained and locked up in her basement. The show debuted in late 2023 and has been renewed for a second season.

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Where to watch: Netflix

Created by British rapper and record producer Rapman, “Supacell” takes place in South London, where a group of people unexpectedly acquire superpowers. Even more strange is there’s nothing connecting the group other than their location, being Black, and the adjustment and impact on their new lives. However, one man takes notice and brings them together to rescue his loved one. This show stars Tosin Cole (“Doctor Who”), Nadine Mills (“The Strangers”), Adelayo Adedayo (“Timewasters”), and Yasmin Monet Prince (“Hanna”).


Where to watch: BET Plus

This show follows the Dawn family, living in Atlanta in the 1990s. Paige Dawn (Ava Mone’t) is a Spelmen College sophomore who falls for a bad boy and blows up her life. Her politically ambitious father (Donavan Christie Jr) has his eyes set on the mayor and is willing to do anything to get it, and his wife, Connie (Tatyana Ali), is the glue that is keeping the family and its appearances together.

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By: Stephanie Teasley

Stephanie Teasley is a freelance writer living in California. She is a veteran in the service industry but decided that storytelling has a more appealing palate. Stephanie graduated with a Master’s in Creative Writing at Antioch University Los Angeles. She loves crafting narratives, spoiling her cats, and basking in warm temperatures. You can find her at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.

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