Black TV

“I’m rooting for, uhmmm, everybody Black,” said actor/writer/producer and “Insecure” creator Issa Rae at the 2017 Emmy Awards. The essential Black TV: Five Decades of Groundbreaking Television from “Soul Train” to “Black-ish” and Beyond, from Washington Post reporter Bethonie Butler, does the same, showcasing prime-time television shows of a “new era in Black television: one in which viewers would have more say in what they watched and Black writers, producers, and talent would have more creative control over the stories they brought to television.” Among these noteworthy series, Butler highlights Donald Glover’s “Atlanta,” Quinta Brunson’s “Abbott Elementary” and Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us,” swiftly surveying their impact on the industry. Along the way, Butler visits the Jeffersons and the Cosbys, Arsenio Hall and Richard Pryor, the Fresh Prince and the ladies of “Living Single,” and many other icons of television, showing how Black creators opened doors for one another to find success. 

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