Black TV's breakthrough year
Nuance and diversity in black storytelling on TV is expanding, with more shows featuring all black casts and writers' rooms. Salon’s editor at large D. Watkins and culture writer Rachel Leah discussed black shows that stood out this year, the industry shifts that made this possible and what to look forward to for 2018.
“One of the things that I think is extremely important is the idea of helping viewers understand that black people are as nuanced and complex as any other group of people in this country,” Watkins said. “We have our brilliant moments and then we have our issues and we have those grey areas that connect us all. I think great television shows that. I don’t think we are in a golden era of black TV, I think this is a start of something that’s going to go on forever.”
One of the main reasons for the paradigm shift is an increase in black representation behind the camera as well as on screen. “I think that's so important.” said Leah. “Not only are black people telling their stories in the form of acting, but they're writing. They're in the writers' room. They're directing, they're the show runners.”
Watch the the clip above to learn more about how black TV makers have refined their narratives to present more authentic, nuanced perspectives over the past year.Tune into SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.