As far as Black representation goes, Hollywood has a better track record than, say, video games. However, that’s not a particularly high bar to clear, the victories we have achieved are the results of decades of struggle, and there’s still much work to be done. We should have Black movies win awards without needing to focus on slaves and maids, or without getting their names announced incorrectly.
Fortunately, the ever-expanding legion of video streaming services is hungry for content, and that includes content made for and by Black people. After all, if you can make streaming services dedicated to anime or the British, you can have streaming services dedicated to Black people. As companies across industries continue to show how much they value Black lives in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by the police and our collective overdue reckoning with white supremacy, streaming services join in by showcasing their Black art…along with throwing “problematic” episodes of old sitcoms down the memory hole.
Below you’ll find our favorite streaming services for enjoying movies, TV shows, documentaries, comedy specials, and more all centered around Black art. Our list is a mix of general services with promising Black libraries, as well as services entirely focused on Black material. It doesn’t include everything. Black channels with more traditional cable models, such as TV One or OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), have attractive streaming apps. However, you’ll have to purchase access to them through a bundle like AT&T TV Now or Philo.
Your mileage may vary, but there are also plenty of even more underground services to explore like American Legacy Network, Black on Purpose, Black and Sexy, or X on Demand. Heck, Jada Pinkett Smith’s spicy Red Table Talk streams exclusively on Facebook. Caffeine is primarily a live streaming service for broadcasting video games, a rival to Twitch, but it sets itself apart with a mix of mainstream, primarily hip-hop-themed entertainment shows, too. You’ll also see plenty of Black faces on sports streaming services. Still, this article can serve as a jumping-off point for your Black streaming journey.
As always, Black Lives Matter.