Celebrate Black History Month with some of the inspiring, creative and heart-breaking shows to watch now.
As we prepare for the 35th anniversary of celebrating Black History Month in the UK, Platinum has pulled together a list of shows you should watch this month and thereafter.
First observed in the US, Black History Month has become an annual month of celebration in the UK with the worlds of film, TV, entertainment and sport honouring the event. Here are just a few shows that highlight some incredible creators, actors and creatives.
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
An intimate portrait of Nobel prize-winner and novelist Toni Morrison, this Sky Arts special film is a celebration of her life and legacy.
Featuring a string of interviews with the likes of Hilton Als, Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Walter Mosley, Sonia Sanchez and Oprah Winfrey, this is one not to be missed for fans of the legendary storyteller.
How to watch? On Sky and streaming on NOW.
Since debuting on FX back in 2016, comedy-drama Atlanta has been showered with critical acclaim, particularly when it comes to creator and star Donald Glover (his musical alias is Childish Gambino, if you didn’t know). He plays Earn Marks, a Princeton dropout who starts to manage the rap career of his up-and-coming cousin Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles (Brian Tyree Henry).
The Emmy-winning show explores racism, existentialism and African-American culture whilst showing off the immense talents of its cast, including LaKeith Stanfield and Zazie Beetz.
How to watch? The first three seasons are available to stream on Disney Plus, while the fourth currently airs on FX in the US.
When They See Us
Ava DuVernay’s scripted docudrama about the Central Park Five made headlines upon its release in 2019, with star Jharrel Jerome winning the Emmy for lead actor in a miniseries or movie. The series remains salient today, speaking to broader themes of corruption and violence against Black bodies. Be warned, the show’s four episodes can be hard to watch at times, and the many challenges levied against the Five are heartbreaking.
Still, the series remains an important part of Black history and an essential watch for the month. If you’ve already seen it and want more, check out Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now, which is also available to watch on Netflix.
How to watch? Streaming now on Netflix.
Starring Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer as Madam CJ Walker – the trailblazing African American haircare entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire – Self Made brings the story of the cultural icon to the screen for the first time.
Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionised Black haircare.
The four-part limited series explores how she fought for social change and came to be the icon that is Madam CJ Walker.
How to watch? The series is available to stream on Netflix.
Set in the 1980’s in New York City, Pose is the phenomenal US series about the world of ball culture right at the centre of the AIDS epidemic.
It is written by Ryan Murphy – known for Glee, American Horror Story and much more – and takes inspiration from revolutionary 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, which explores African-American and Latino culture between 1986 to 1989.
Pose also features the largest cast of transgender actors in series regular roles, as well as the largest recurring cast of LGBTQ actors ever, for a scripted television series.
How to watch? Season 1-3 is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Season 1 is also available on Netflix.