Awards season is about to kick off, people, and for once it’s off to a good start.
The 2020 Emmy Nominations were announced this past Tuesday by none other than the ever-so-chipper Leslie Jones, and to everyone’s pleasant surprise, black talent has broken records for the amount of nominations they have received.
In 2020 we should be way past this point, but I digress.
This year, 34.3% of acting nominees are black, meaning black actors accounted for 35 of the 102 nominated categories. If you still don’t think that’s enough (because let’s be honest, it’s not), this figure is up from last’s years list of nominees where black actors only accounted for 19.8% of the talent pool. In 2018, they only accounted for 27.7%. While this year is definitely an achievement, we still have a lot of work to do in terms of nominee diversity—we’re looking at you, Oscars.
Though this work still needs to be done, this year is still every bit worth celebrating—and the only way to properly do so is to honor the great work of these black actors by watching their amazing performances. So, here’s a list of five shows you should watch before the awards take place on the 20th of September:
The show’s creator and star, Issa Rae, plays a woman in her 20s trying to navigate a personal and professional relationship along with her best friend in Los Angeles. It’s the perfect feel-good show to watch with your best friend, and you can find it on HBO.
Based on the classic comic book series, the show takes place in present-day Oklahoma, and much like the book series, reflects modern-day political anxieties as the premise for the show’s plots. Regina King stars as the Angela Abar/Sister Night, and you can also find this one on HBO.
This six season sitcom is the first of it’s kind, as it features an all-black, upper-middle-class family. Like any other sitcom it features comical plots of the family’s everyday issues, but also makes sure to touch on several sociopolitical issues as well. Starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, you can’t miss it—find it on either ABC or Hulu.
Pose is a gift to not only the Black community, but the Latino and LGBTQ+ community as well. Perfectly summed up on their website, this show ‘spotlights the legends, icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture, a movement that first gained notice in the 1980s.’ Starring Billy Porter and Mj Rodriguez (to name a few), this show can be found on either FX or Netflix.
5. A Black Lady Sketch Show
This show is exactly how it sounds: a sketch comedy show performed by a main cast of all-female black comedians. Created to show more representation of black women in comedy, the show is the first to be written, performed, and produced by black women. If you’re into sketch comedy, don’t miss out on this one—find it on HBO.