By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
There’s a nip in the air and it’s getting darker earlier, it’s official: fall has arrived. While fall or autumn is a good time to sip on that pumpkin spice latte, harvest some apples and carve a pumpkin, it’s the best time to cuddle under the covers and indulge in some screen time.
There’s a plethora of shows and movies to choose from, but Netflix has made an effort to highlight the work being done by black people in the media. Earlier this year, Netflix released a promo ad titled Strong Black Lead. In it, Stranger Things’ star Caleb Mclaughlin narrates what it means to be black in Hollywood as celebrities like Ava DuVernay and Spike Lee appear on the screen.
“This is a new day, built from the ground broken by legends a day for our generation to see untold experiences of our blackness representing a limitless range of identity, playing kings and queens of our neighborhoods defeating larger than life forces trying to flip our world upside down we stand up on any stage and every screen,” Mclaughlin said.
From there, Netflix launched a Facebook video series, What Happened Was, where their strong black leads discuss their roles and their impact. So, if you’re looking for a show to binge or a movie to indulge in check out the list below.
“Dear White People”
Now in its second season, Dear White People is based off the 2014 movie of the same name. Logan Browning plays Samantha White, a student at Winchester College, which has a predominantly white student population. Each episode focuses on a different character who share a link with Samantha. The show deals with being black, racial tensions, activism, politics and cultural bias. The movie is great as well.
“Nappily Ever After”
Sanaa Lathan plays Violet Jones in Nappily Ever After based off the book. The story focuses on Violet and her relationship with her hair and how it affects her worldview. As her life begins to take a series of wrong turns, Violet begins experimenting with her hair, only to–spoiler alert– shave it all off. An act, Lathan actually did. As Violet comes to term with her identity she learns the importance of having a choice. Lathan pulls you in on Violet’s emotional journey which is really a rom-com with herself and her hair.
Starring Regina King, Seven Seconds focuses on the aftermath of an accident. Young Brenton Butler dies while riding his bicycle after a white police officer hits him. A court case ensues and examines the tensions between police officers and blacks. Although a limited series, Seven Seconds covers a wide scope of problems plaguing America today.
If you don’t have a Netflix account or someone’s password, be sure to check out these options below.
“The Hate U Give”
This one is must-see and buzzing with Oscar potential. The Hate U Give, based off the book, features Amandla Stenberg as Starr Carter. Starr is shown as a typical teen struggling to combine her identities. She attends a wealthy and predominately white prep school but lives in a low-income neighborhood which is mostly black. One night, Starr witnesses the murder of her best friend by a police officer. She finds herself at the center of the cause as she struggles to decide what move she should make: play it safe or use her voice.
“Nobody’s Fool” and “The Oath” star Tiffany Haddish. Although both labeled as comedies, Nobody’s Fool is written and directed by Tyler Perry. It focuses on two sisters and their relationship after one is released from prison. The Oath is written by Ike Barinholtz and takes place in a quasi-alternative universe. Taking course over a Thanksgiving meal, the film examines the politics of a single family.
These aren’t all the shows and movies in existence that feature a black lead, there’s also On the Block, Luke Cage, Black Lightning, The Holiday Calendar, The Neighborhood and so many more