Once upon a time, we were a country — a proper country. In the golden age of Black Hollywood, which spanned the late 1990s to the early 2000s, we could flip to channels like UPN and BET to see ourselves reflected on a variety of television shows. Despite Hollywood’s halfhearted push towards diversity, it would take years before we’d happen across such widespread mainstream representation again. The 2016 season premiere of HBO original series Insecure ushered in an important new dawn for the industry. The show, which starred Issa Rae as its chaotic lead, portrayed millennial Blackness without gimmicks or pandering. Over the course of its five seasons, Insecure quickly became a cornerstone of Black culture, and its controversial series finale left many of us wondering, “What’s next?”
We’ll never have another Insecure — though I’d take a cast reunion or a two-hour film, please and thank you! — but luckily for us, Blackness isn’t a monolith, which means that there are limitless relevant stories about our different experiences just waiting to be told. And just in time, a new crop of talented storytellers has emerged to keep us entertained. Whether you’re looking for steamy romance, historical takes, boardroom antics, or reboots of the classics, the current TV landscape is bustling with unique narratives that touch almost every aspect of the culture. It’s our time, y’all!
Ahead, some of the best new Black shows that you should definitely be adding to your watchlist this summer. (Now you really can’t say that there’s nothing good to watch on TV.)