February is the month known for recognition of Black History Month. Although February is over, the celebration can continue with good black-led TV shows on Netflix and Hulu, such as Grownish, Atlanta, Half & Half, Pose, and Moesha.
Grownish is about Dre and Rainbow’s eldest daughter, Zoey, going off to college and tackling adult situations, relationships between two boys, and friendships. Zoey quickly realizes that life does not always go her way. Grownish is the sister show to ABC’s hit show Blackish. The cast consists of many familiar faces, such as grammy nominees Chloe X. Halle, Luka Sabbat, Diggy Simmons, Ryan Destiny, and Yara Shahidi. Shahidi, the main character, started her acting career when she was just a child, appearing in the movie Imagine That along with Eddie Murphy when she was only nine years old. Shahidi has been confirmed to play the first black Tinker-Bell in the Disney+ new movie Peter and Wendy. In 2015, Shahidi received Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Blackish. Grownish is available on Hulu with three seasons. The 4th season will be released August 27, 2021.
Atlanta is about a college drop-out named Earnest “Earn” who comes back home to Atlanta and begins to manage his cousin’s failing rap career, all while trying to make money and keep a good relationship with the mother of his daughter. Donald Glover, also known musically as Childish Gambino, starred as Earn and was the executive producer of Atlanta. Glover has been in movies such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guava Island, which he was executive producer, and The Lion King. The series consists of two seasons and is available on Hulu.
The 2000s sitcom Half & Half is about two half-sisters who grew up in two different environments. The two girls have to learn to share their father and get along while living in the same building. Essence Atkins and Rachel True stars as Dee Dee and Mona. Starring as Mona in the series has been True’s biggest role. Atkins has starred in many movies and been nominated for several awards. Atkins starred in movies and television shows such as A Haunted House 1&2, Marlon, Smart Guy and The Cosby Show. In 2005, Atkins was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Dee Dee. She was nominated for the same award in 2015 for her role as Ashley in Marlon. The sitcom, which ran from 2002 until 2006, is available on Netflix.
The 1990s sitcom Moesha is about a young black teenage girl in Los Angeles who struggles with her school work, making friends and warming up to her new stepmother. The sitcom contains many well-known faces such as Brandy, Ray J, Mo’Nique and Bernie Mac. Brandy is most known for her music career, where she had many hit songs and was named “The Princess of R&B.” Brandy was the first on-screen black Cinderella and was a role model for many young black girls in the 2000s. She was also in Tyler Perry’s Temptation, Star, The Game, and Sesame Beginnings. Brandy won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in The Game. Sadly, Lamont Bentley, who starred as Hakeem Campbell, died in a car accident in 2005. Moesha ran from 1996 to 2001, leaving fans with six seasons.
Not only is Pose a strong black lead show, but a LBTQ+ strong black-led TV show. Pose follows a drag queen, a transgender woman, Bicana, who forms a house for youth LBTQ+ that have been rejected by their birth parents where she becomes their mother. Bicana and her children perform in balls where they are judged on their outfits, attitude and dance moves. Bicana wants to beat her former house mother, Elektra, in a ball. The majority of the cast are upcoming actresses and actors. MJ Rodriguez, who starred as Bicana, is an upcoming transgender actress, but she has already been nominated for Best Actress in a Drama Series and Best Breakthrough Performance. She has also won the Special Trailblazer Award from the Hispanic Heritage Award. The first season of Pose is available on Netflix and Hulu.
by Vanicia Gregory