While series like Friends, The Office, and Parks and Recreation — shows in which white characters simply exist for the sake of escapism and laughs — have existed since the advent of television, similar series depicting life in Black America are few and far between. Too often, Black TV characters come from broken families and violent backgrounds, while scripts read at those they’re attempting to explain Blackness to a non-Black demographic. Watching shows written about you but not for you is exhausting. Just like everyone else, Black people experience love and loss, makeups and breakups, high school crushes and friendship drama. Yet, our stories are stripped of any depth, left only to revolve around what non-Black people think Black life is like.
So, because we are celebrating Black Joy, Black authors, and Black creators this Black History Month, here are 25 sitcoms, dramas, and anime shows about Black people just . . . being — no explanation needed.