Reigning in representation

in Entertainment by
With 148 episodes, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” aired from Sept.1990 to May 1996. (Photo/Amazon)

With February just gone, we remember Black History Month. While we reflect on the tragedies of police brutality and racial injustice, we also honor the stories that were not backed by tragedy. This month, we remember the individuals who advocated for change, while also continuing to do so ourselves. While we continue to observe the people who fought for freedom and representation, here are some shows that celebrate Black stories and not trauma. 

“The Proud Family”

Taking place in California, the early 2000s Disney classic “The Proud Family” features14-year-old Penny Proud and her friends as they navigate the ups and downs of middle school. From episodes surrounding religious freedom to racial inequity, “The Proud Family” broke down barriers that a lot of Disney shows hadn’t at the time–– especially cartoons. In fact, the show is planning on releasing a reboot, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” later  this year. Both seasons of The Proud Family are available to watch with a Disney+ subscription.

“All American”

Inspired by the life of professional football player Spencer Paysinger, “All American” features a Los Angeles football player, Spencer James, who is recruited to play for Beverly Hills High School. There, he experiences the struggle of having to navigate the two drastically different worlds he lives in.  If you are interested in teen-based dramas, you can watch two of the three current seasons with a Netflix subscription. 

“Black Lightning” 

Incorporating stories that include sci-fi and superheroes, “Black Lightning” follows the life of high school principal Jefferson Pierce and his battle with living his life with superhuman powers. The show is great for those who enjoy a little action, while also tackling important topics like racial inequality and gentrification. If you’re interested in the DC comics universe and enjoy teen dramas, then you should definitely check out “Black Lightning.” Currently, three of the four seasons are available to watch with a Netflix subscription. 

“Sister Sister”

Telling the story of twin sisters separated at birth, “Sister Sister” follows twin sisters Tia Landry and Tamera Campell as they reunite after 14 years of separation. If you’re a fan of Tia and Tamera or simply just enjoy late 90s to early 2000s sitcoms, then you’ll definitely enjoy this show. All six seasons of “Sister Sister” are available to watch with a Netflix subscription.

“Fresh Prince of Bel Air”

Known for its iconic theme song and humorous nature, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” follows the life of teenager Will Smith who is sent to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle after encountering a gang. The show thrives off of its humorous depictions of life lessons and upbeat vibe. If you’re interested in 90s sitcoms and are a fan of Will Smith, then you’ll definitely enjoy this show. “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” is available to watch with a HBO Max subscription.

“Kenan and Kel”

After appearing in the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series “All That,” Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell received their own sitcom in 1996. The show features two teenage friends, Kenan and Kel, as they hilariously navigate through high-school life and adventure. If you are interested in Nickelodeon-type sitcoms, then you’ll enjoy this show. “Kenan and Kel” is available to watch with a CBS subscription.

As a senior, Emily spends her second year on staff as both a copy editor and entertainment editor. Outside newspaper, Emily plays violin in the school orchestra and leads Dead Poets Society as president. When she's not at school, however, Emily enjoys writing poetry, repeatedly watching the same movies and, sometimes, succeeding in her goal of reading five books a week.

6 Comments

  1. Awesome article! Enjoyed these shows with my older children. Thanks for these positive shows depicting black people for black history month.❤️

  2. I found it very good and entertaining to read. she touches points on a lot of stuff that is going on today. I like how she reminded me of my childhood and what they was doing to bring awareness.

  3. Great review on all the shows that this generation may not know about that gave a different light on their heritage compared to today. All these shows shows love, support, communication, compassion and values. Continue reminding us on how great we are and what we’re capable of as human beings. Keep up the awesome work.

  4. “celebrate Black stories and not trauma”— love that.
    I’ve watched every show named except Black Lightning… guess what I’ll be binge watching next!

  5. This was an amazing article. This was a very informative piece that I think us as a black culture needs to be exposed to more often instead of being reminded of our past conditions that no longer serve us. Thank you so much for this.

  6. Great article representation matters. Also could you gives us some good youtubers who talk about representation. Love your articles keep them coming.

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