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.
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.
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.
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.