HBO screenshot
HBO screenshot

Two things:

1. There's no real science to determining what makes a show "Black." For instance, Scandal has a Black creator and a Black star, but it's not a Black show, while The Wire had a White creator and the closest that show had to a protagonist (in the first three seasons, at least) was a White guy, but it's a Black show. Basically, a Black show is like good potato salad. You know it when you see it.


2. I (obviously) created the list, so the list is (obviously) right. Still, feel free to disagree.

25. Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry

24. South Central

23. Roc

22. Living Single

21. Soul Food

20. The Boondocks

19. Sanford and Son

18. The Bernie Mac Show

17. Rap City

16. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

15. Everybody Hates Chris

14. Key & Peele

13. Martin

12. Soul Train

11. Girlfriends

10. A Different World

9. The Arsenio Hall Show (first run)

8. The Corner

7. Def Comedy Jam

6. The Jeffersons

5. Frank's Place

4. The Cosby Show

3. The Chappelle Show

2. In Living Color

1. The Wire


Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

Share This Story

Get our newsletter