12 TV shows celebrating Black Joy that you can stream right now

Put these at the top of your list and get started.

Side-by-side stills by Justin Cunningham "Great crew," Ja'Siah Young came in "Raising Dion," and Issa Rae in "Uncertain."

“Grand Crew”, “Raising Dion” and “Insecure”


Hollywood is constantly pushing black representation, but the boundaries are being broken. Many of the most successful pieces of media-centered black history are rooted in violence, grief, and trauma, whether historical or imagined. As important as these stories are to understanding centuries of oppression, part of overcoming racial bias is recognizing that everyone experiences joy, sorrow, love, disappointment, and everything in between—that we relate to people we perceive as different more than we might imagine. .

As important as it is to learn about the history of horrific discrimination around the world (and the United States in particular), it’s also important for audiences to witness stories of black triumph, survival, and just plain stupidity. It’s also critical for the creative voices behind these works, because the film or series has a larger audience for studios and distributors, that there is a demand for black stories and talent. Supporting Black-led projects is one small way any viewer can move the needle and challenge Hollywood’s power structures. A success like “Abbott Elementary” is no accident; dynamite writers and performers, a leader like Quinta Brunson bringing her experience and vision to life at a network and studio who believe in her, and a product of millions of Americans who connect deeply with engaging characters, stories and environments.

Social change can take many forms and can start at any time. Sometimes joy and existence itself is a radical act. From the family dynamics of classic Black sitcoms like “Family Matters” to the internet experiences of Millennials and Generation Z, as pioneered by Issa Rae on “Insecure” and “Rap Sh!t,” “Craig of the Creek” to the animated hilarity behind it ” and “ The Proud Family ,” there are plenty of shows to shine that spotlight on and celebrate Black Joy.

IndieWire has selected some of our favorite television series that embody this spirit (all are fresh or current shows, so you won’t be seeing “Fresh Prince,” “Girlfriends,” and other greatness). Read on for 15 TV shows brimming with black joy—all of which you can stream right away.

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