Black Characters Have Taken Over Television and People Are Loving It

The first TV show starring a African American lead character I ever remember watching was “That’s So Raven” on weekday afternoons.

At the time, I would imagine what it would be like to see into the future and hoped my high school experience was going to be just as great as Raven’s was.

  That's So Raven  first aired on Disney Channel on January 17, 2003 starring Raven-Symoné. Photo by Disney.

That's So Raven first aired on Disney Channel on January 17, 2003 starring Raven-Symoné. Photo by Disney.

Raven Baxter was one of the first black lead characters in television shows that most kids born in the late 90s or early 2000s knew of. Today, the trend of seeing more African American faces as main characters has become somewhat of a norm.

  Insecure  is created by Issa Rae who is also starring in the show and is one of the executive producers. The show first aired on HBO network on October 9, 2016. Photo still by HBO.

Insecure is created by Issa Rae who is also starring in the show and is one of the executive producers. The show first aired on HBO network on October 9, 2016. Photo still by HBO.

Shows like “Insecure” and “Black-ish” follow African American leads going through the struggles and positives of everyday life and it is very relatable. 

 Bryshere Y. Gray, Jussie Smollett, Taraji P. Henson and Terrnce Howard appears on  Empire  on FOX network. Photo by FOX.

Bryshere Y. Gray, Jussie Smollett, Taraji P. Henson and Terrnce Howard appears on Empire on FOX network. Photo by FOX.

Shows like “Power” and “Empire” show the lives of African Americans through a different angle, but anyone can relate to the characters portrayed as well. Other shows that feature Black protagonists are geared towards every type of family and most ages.

In a recent article earlier this year, Sydney Scott, a writer of Essence.com referred to how African American shows that aired on the same night on different TV channels were garnering trending status on Twitter.

“It looks like television is becoming the perfect medium for black actors and showrunners to thrive,” Scott said.

The want for seeing African American characters and stories on TV has increased over the years to the point where many stations have provided what the public has been asking for. Even streaming services like Netflix have decided to include shows about black people dealing with real situations like the show “Dear White People”.

Now as the 2017 Emmys role around, the question is whether this year #EmmysSoWhite will be trending the same way #OscarsSoWhite was.