The world is still slow to catch up to the fact that Black women are lit, especially when it comes to representation in media.
Even with the success of Insecure (which went from the web to TV), and now Black Panther (of course), we’re still being underrepresented, miscategorized and snubbed at awards shows. It’s cool, though, because, in 2018, sistas are doing it for ourselves.
We already know the power of supporting images that represent what we want to see, especially when it comes to Black girl content creators. What better way than to start with where millennial tastemakers live — the internet! Get into these ten webseries’ by and for Black women that make binge-watching great again.
Producer Mel Jones (Dear White People and Burning Sands) is the visionary that oversees Leimert Park. The series, which tackles gentrification and friendship, centers around three friends sharing a house in South L.A.’s eponymous neighborhood that’s also a hub for contemporary and historical African-American art, music, and culture in Los Angeles.
Black and Sexy TV is an entire universe full of juicy shows that showcase the range of love, life and friendships in the world of black millennials. There’s Build a Boo, Wendy + Julian, Sexless, Chef Julian, Hello Cupid, and more. Seriously, this universe is so layered that even the spinoffs have spinoffs and it’s easy to get sucked in to the drama and origins of certain characters. It’s worth the monthly $6.99 subscription.
Professional Black Girl isn’t a scripted drama. It’s a docuseries created by Dr. Yaba Blay that celebrates — you guessed it — Black women. It’s about the way we wear our hair, makeup, the sway in our hips, and all things that make us the Keishas, Angelas, Pamelas and Renees that LL Cool J wrote “Around the Way Girl” for. Blay illustrates the diversity of Black women in a series of interviews with fly girls from various walks of life and in various cities. Blay, who recently exceeded her Kickstarter goal for the upcoming season, headed to New Orleans to kick it with the homegirls, and there’s no telling where she will end up next.
Barely Adults, created by Christine Sanders, explores the world of Black women in the corporate world and the unique challenges they face. It follows a young African American women who lands her dream job after graduating college, but that dream turns into a nightmare as she deals with a hostile boss and office politics.
Keloid is a supernatural drama about Keloid, a teenage boy who has the abilities of telepathy, teleportation, telekenisis and electricity control. He has a lot to live up to as the descendent of a long line of gifted human beings, but all he really wants is to be normal. However, that’s not going to happen, especially as someone linked to him goes missing from his high school which sends Keloid and his mother running from their past and also from being found.
Black romance with the New York dating scene as the backdrop is the name of the game, and of course it’s complicated! Makeup x Breakup centers around Brooke, who abruptly ends her two-year relationship with Blake, but then wants him back once he gets back on the dating scene. Again, it gets complicated, especially as Blake finds himself torn between the possibility of new love and the woman he once loved who wants to reclaim his time.
American Koko stars Kilpatrick as Akosua Millard, code-name “Koko,” an investigator who solves sticky racial situations in America as a member of the satirical E.A.R. Agency (Everybody’s A little bit Racist). The irony is that Koko herself is trying to deal with her own trauma as she and her team of specialists tackle various cases. Koko’s experiences often lead to angry outbursts, which tend to get in the way of her work and of course, her dating life. “Race has always been a issue in our country. Now, in our current political climate, a show like American Koko, which is about helping people navigate sticky racial situation, creates a conversation around race in an insight, funny, and interesting way. The conservation around race should be as open as they can be. It can create some situations for solutions on how people view race. It’s going to be a show that addresses a lot of things people don’t talk about, so they’ll learn something,” said Killpatrick . Kilpatrick originally produced the series on her YouTube channel, but eventually caught the eye of the Viola Davis, and streams on ABC.
To be young, black, queer and a Brooklyn-dweller! That is 195 Lewis in a nutshell. In 195 Lewis, director Chanelle Aponte Pearson offers glimpse into the Black lesbian community in Bed-Stuy. The series star, Yuri, (Rae Leone Allen), is a polyamorous lesbian who’s involved in multiple complicated relationships. Obviously there will be passion, drama, joy, pain and all the things we can’t stop watching!
Brown Girls is based on the real life friendship of writer Fatima Asghar and series music consultant, Jamila Woods. It’s about best friends navigating life and times in their twenties in Chicago. Leila, the character based on Asghar, is a South Asian Muslim writer who owns being queer, while Patricia, played by Sonia Denis, is a sex-positive black musician struggling to commit to her job, art, and relationships. “The young women remind me so much of the interracial friendships I have and how they really help shape the woman I am,” said Bailey, the series director. “It's rare for us to see women of color of different ethnicities sharing space together, especially in a loving way-without much conflict.”
Avant-Guardians brilliantly imagines what it would be like if guardian angels were in therapy, but these angels have brown skin and kinky hair. Creator, Alesia Etinoff, also stars as Guardian Angel Razz, and Def Comedy Jam’s Zainab Johnson plays therapist, Archangel Dr. Hanniel as each episode discusses a different part of Black America through the lens of how it affects Razz’s human, who just so happens to be a 12-year-old Black boy who is destined to become the 3rd black president of the united states. “Black lives not only matter in this series, it’s of the utmost importance,” Etinoff tells Essence. “Additionally, it’s a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously, while not only highlighting but glorifying women of color, namely dark-skinned women whose edges don’t always lay so easily.”Watch, digest and root for every Black celestial body!