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 as though 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 often stripped of any depth, left only to revolve around what non-Black people think Black life is like. So because Black Joy, Black authors, and Black creators should be celebrated all year round (not just on Black holidays like Black History Month and Juneteenth), here are 30 sitcoms, dramas, and animes about Black people just . . . being — no explanation needed.