For decades, it was difficult to find consistent representation of Black families on broadcast television. Sure, there would be hit series like The Cosby Show or Family Matters coming into the forefront in the comedy genre, but it was often hard to find dramas, sci-fi and rom-coms where a white family wasn’t the main focus on the big and small screen.
As Netflix has developed its library of original series and films, along with acquiring properties from other networks, they have become a wonderful stop to find a variety of stories that appeal to any viewer. University of Arizona scholar Stephanie Troutman Robbins told UArizona News that “there are more opportunities for people to engage with different and more complex stories about the Black experience and for Black people to find a reflection of themselves and their communities on TV.”
And that also opens the opportunities as to how “family is defined as ‘chosen’ rather than purely biological, and particular Black communities, including the LGBTQ community, are centered.” Netflix finally has a TV and film roster that has something for everyone from the socially conscious family in Moesha to a young Black superhero in Raising Dion, and Kevin Hart taking on the challenges of single parenting in Fatherhood to Tracee Ellis Ross finding comfort and community with her three BFFs in Girlfriends.
This list is just a highlight of what the streaming network has to offer from their growing library, but it’s wonderful to see Netflix shining the spotlight on the Black experience and finding a home for stories about family.