Television shows reflect the human experience, telling the stories of everyone from public figures to everyday people. Sometimes those shows are embedded with cultural examinations or social truths among fictional or seemingly incredulous circumstances. They can tackle pertinent social, economic, racial, or legal perspectives that are actually rooted in reality. This is exceptionally true for many Black TV series, which reflect the depth and breadth of Black experiences, serving as a reminder that Blackness is not a monolith.
The protagonists of Black TV series may endure socioeconomic strife and societal pressures alongside the universal experiences of coming-of-age, navigating the world as an adult, maintaining relationships, or processing difficult situations. These stories come in different flavors, from serious dramas to sitcoms to variety shows, all holding a lens to an array of subject matter. To honor the expansiveness of these offerings, Stacker compiled a list of the best Black TV series according to IMDb and ranked them by user rating, with ties broken by votes. To qualify, the show had to be created (or co-created) by and primarily starring Black people. Shows had to have at least 2,500 votes to be considered.
Here are some of the best shows created by and centering on Black protagonists.
You may also like: 100 best TV dramas of all time