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  • Writer's pictureEfe Koomson

Excellence on Screen: The best shows and movies with black creators

The past few years have been a whirlwind for different groups of people. The pandemic which spread worldwide and affected practically everyone, or the rise of the awareness, of the effects inequality has, Black Lives Matter activism and the call for diversity in all spheres of life, mainly on our TV screens.

There has always been a call for greater range of black directors, writers, producers and creatives within the entertainment industry, and while there has been a growth in the amount of these creatives recently, there is still a call for more creatives needed.

Here are some of the best shows and movies from the minds of black creators:

Get Out – Jordan Peele Our list starts off with none other than Jordan Peele’s directorial debut movie Get Out (2017) which features stars such as Daniel Kaaluya and LaKeith Stanfield. This was highly accredited due to it being a horror film which although explored the themes of racism and prejudice, it was a successful movie which did not feature black trauma. A lot of documentaries, movies or short films which have a high number of black creatives feature an element of black trauma which can be distressing to the viewer. Get Out which won Peele the Oscar award for Best Original Screenplay is noted by critics as one of the best films of the 21st century.

I May Destroy You – Michaela Coel This black British comedy-drama created and written by Michaela Coel (who is also behind Chewing Gum) explores the story of a young writer in the public eye who is wanting to rebuild her life after being sexually assaulted. The series which features mainly a Black British cast has been praised due to its ability to explore complex topics such as race, consent and growing up in London where these topics mainly affect people of all ages. The series has been praised for its script – how Coel is able to weave in between comedy and tragedy whilst still keeping a sense of drama throughout.

Blood & Water- Nosipho Dumisa-Ngoasheng South Africa has not only been in people’s mouths for its rising Amapiano sounds, but also for the rise of Netflix series such as Blood and Water. The South African Netflix series emerged in May 2020 and rose to popularity that year for its scriptwriting and different series idea of a girl who transfers to an elite school to discover if one of the student may be her sister, who was abducted as a baby. The show gained much recognition for its strong black leads on the show, and is likely to return for a season 3

Moonlight – Barry Jenkins The 3-time Oscar awarded 2016 movie Moonlight is not only commended for its visually stunning imagery and cinematography (hence winning the award for Best Picture) but is also commended for exploring topics such as sexuality and identity within the black community. The film became the first LGBTQ film with an all-black cast, and also had Mahershala Ali being the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar. It is known for its diversity in all ways and being an amazing encapsulating film.

The Harder They Fall – Jeymes Samuel The Harder They Fall brings a unique perspective to Westerns as it featured cast members who are all black. The film depicts the lives of real cowboys, lawmen and outlaws of the 19th century American West and is packed full of thrills, cliff-hangers and pure energy. With a cast involving Idris Elba, Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield and Jonathan Majors – you are expected to see some great performances.


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