Guest post: Hiba Abdillahi
There’s a problem in our country. If you’ve been watching new news or checked in on social media, you have seen the murder of African American men at the hands of police (most recently, the tragic death of George Floyd while in police custody), racially-motivated encounters, and, as a result, protests, riots, and lootings that have spanned nationwide.
The conversation about racial injustice, racial inequality, and systematic racism has never been louder or more charged up, and for those of you who may not know much about it or have never experienced it first hand, it’s a time to get educated.
The list of shows and documentaries that cover what it’s like to be black in America and capture institutionalized racism continues to multiply quickly as streaming services.
But we’ve narrowed it down to a list of 5 shows, movies, and documentaries that can be a starting point for you and your family to help you understand how root of violence against black Americans and how it affects everyone.
1. When They See Us (Netflix)
The jarring Netflix mini-series by Ava Duvernay is based on the story of the Central Park Five, a group of five black Latino boys failed by the justice system after they were wrongfully convinced of raping and assaulting a woman in Central Park in 1989.
2. 13th (Netflix)
How much do you know about the U.S prison boom? Once again filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores issues of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States in the Academy Award-nominated documentary.
3. I Am Not Your Negro (Youtube or Amazon Prime)
Sometimes we need to look back, to see how we can move forward. This documentary is based on an unfinished manuscript by James Baldwin and covers the history of racism in America, focusing on the stories of Civil Rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
4. Dear White People (Netflix)
We could all use some comic relief these days while educating ourselves, of course. This comedy-drama series on Netflix follows a group of black college students at an Ivy League (predominately white) college. The series covers plenty of racial topics young African-Americans face including cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism, and slippery politics.
5. If Beale Street Could Talk (Hulu)
It’s the story we’ve seen play out in our society time and time again. Based on the novel by James Baldwin, the 2018 drama focuses on a young black man imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and a young back couple fighting for justice and the American dream.
Bonus: Just Mercy
Michael B. Jordan’s film follows the real-life story of defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, who fought to clear Walter McMillian (played by Jamie Foxx), wrongfully convicted of murder and placed on death row.
Warner Bros. announced it will be free on all digital streaming platforms during the month of June to teach people about systemic racism.
What to Watch in March 2021 Guide: Good Girls, Coming 2 America, The Irregulars, and MORE!
Can you believe it’s almost March?
2021 is flying by, and I have to credit the fact that there has been so much good television available!
Despite COVID-19 still holding a grasp on the world, plenty of our favorite TV shows were able to return to production and deliver outstanding seasons that are keeping us entertained every single day of the week.
March sees a return of some favorites on primetime along with some new additions to streaming.
Here’s everything to watch on March 2021:
Debris – NBC (March 1)
Calling all sci-fi fans! Two international agents are tasked with investigating mysterious wreckage that falls from the sky. As British agent Finola Jones and American agent Bryan Beneventi lead the charge to track down all the debris scattered across the Western Hemisphere, they realize it’s a race against time!
The Voice – NBC (March 1)
The singing competition returns for season 20 with Blake Shelton, Nick Jonas, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson at the helm!
Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell – Netflix (March 1)
The documentary on famed rapper The Notorious B.I.G. celebrates his life and tracks his journey to rap king alongside rare footage and in-depth interviews.
New Amsterdam – NBC (March 2)
With the pandemic still in full-swing, season 3 kicks off with a plane crash in the East River.
Good Girls – NBC (March 7)
Your favorite suburban criminals are back for season 4! Beth, Ruby, and Annie continue their life of crime by pouring themselves into Boland Bubbles to wash money for “homeboy.” With the FBI hot on their trail, will they find a way to stay above water?
Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy – ABC (March 11)
After going on hiatus in December, the Shondaland shows return with a crossover that tackles the issue of human trafficking.
A Million Little Things – ABC (March 11)
After a nearly three-month wait, A Million Little Things is finally getting new episodes and it’s going to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the synopsis: “As [the virus] becomes more widespread across the U.S., Boston goes into lockdown putting Rome’s movie in jeopardy and forcing Maggie to return home from Oxford. Because the hospitals are overwhelmed with patients, Eddie’s back surgery is cancelled, leading him to take desperate measures to cope with the severe pain.
Love Alarm – Netflix (March 12)
The popular K-drama about an app that alerts people if someone in the area likes them returns for its second season on Netflix!
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal – Netflix (March 17)
You’re familiar with the college bribery scandal that brought down Aunt Becky and other wealthy parents who stopped at nothing to get their children into top-tier universities. The documentary synopsis reads: “Using an innovative combination of interviews and narrative recreations of the FBI’s wiretapped conversations between Singer and his clients, Operation Varsity Blues offers a rare glimpse into the enigmatic figure behind a scheme that exposed the lengths wealthy families would go to for admission into elite colleges, and angered a nation already grappling with the effects of widespread inequality.”
Everything you’ve heard is true. But you haven’t heard everything. Using real conversations recreated from FBI wiretaps the filmmaker behind Fyre brings you Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal pic.twitter.com/kwsqTCSkqq
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) February 22, 2021
The highly-anticipated Marvel action series brings together Falcon and the Winter Soldier, who “team up for a global adventure that will test their survival skills — as well as their patience.” Starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, the action picks up after the events of “Avengers: Endgame” with the first two episodes airing on the streamer on March 19 and March 26, respectively.
The Irregulars – Netflix (March 26)
The Sherlock Holmes spin-off series follows a group of “troubled street teens” who are wrapped into solving crimes and saving London from supernatural elements by the “sinister Doctor Watson.”
Pooch Perfect – ABC (March 30)
Pitch Perfect star Rebel Wilson is set to host this dog grooming reality competition that’s based on a UK competition of the same name (also hosted by Wilson). The episodes will spotlight 10 dog groomers around the country competing in challenges.
— Jorge Bendersky (@JorgeBendersky) February 19, 2021
Coming 2 America – Amazon Prime (March 5)
Comedic geniuses Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite as Akeem and Semmi to take audiences back to Zamunda, the royal country made popular in the 80s. It’s worth the watch if only for nostalgia’s sake.
Raya and the Last Dragon – Disney Plus (March 5)
After being delayed the coronavirus pandemic, the film will finally debut months later. It’ll premiere simultaneously on Disney+ Premier Access and in theaters on the same day! Per the synopsis: ” Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. However, when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to a lone warrior to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good.”
Moxie – Netflix (March 3)
Amy Poehler lends her talents to a second Netflix original about a shy 16-year-old who is inspired by her mom’s rebellious past and publishes an anonymous zine to tackle sexism inside the high school hallways.
Yes Day – Netflix (March 12)
Saying “no” to your kids can be difficult, so parents Allison (played by Jennifer Garner) and Carlos give their kids one day where they say “yes” to all their requests.
Paper Lives (Kağıttan Hayatlar) – Netflix (March 15)
The Turkish drama finds warehouse worker Mehmet (starring Çağatay Ulusoy) working in an impoverished neighborhood where he becomes responsible for a small boy.
I feel that today 22.02.2021 will end the suspanse of waiting for the trailer ! God help me not to feel wrong!🙏❤️ Happy day, anyway for you Cagatay and your fans! @netflixturkiye #KağıttanHayatlar #CagatayUlusoy @cagatayulusoyy😊🤗❤️ pic.twitter.com/t8vtjCCqV9
— ghenceagabriela (@ghenceagabriela) February 21, 2021
What to Watch in February 2021: ‘Young Rock,’ ‘Firefly Lane,’ ‘Malcolm & Marie’ and ‘Superman & Lois’
The one thing that has remained constant and reliable amid the coronavirus pandemic has been television.
Could you imagine if we didn’t have our favorite shows to keep us entertained during quarantine?
Primetime television and streaming services have been more than happy to deliver some of the best content to audiences who are largely sitting at home and spending time in front of the television.
And that trend continues into February, a month jam-packed with new shows and new season premieres.
Here’s what’s gracing our screens in February:
Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready Season 2 – Netflix (February 2)
Need a good laugh? Tiffany Haddish and other up-and-coming comics deliver in half-hour stand-up sets.
Firefly Lane – Netflix (February 3)
The series marks Katherine Heigel’s return to television. In the story of friendship, Heigel stars as Tully, who befriends Kate at a young age. The series chronicles their unbreakable bond from teens to their 40s.
Malcolm and Marie – Netflix (February 5)
Zendaya and John David Washington star as Malcolm and Marie, a filmmaker and his girlfriend in the black-and-white film. It’s a gritty look into a couple who want to keep their relationship in-tact and open up about past relationships. Word is, it’s even looking to be a contender for awards season.
Super Bowl LV – CBS (February 7)
This one kind of goes without explanation… Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face-off during the biggest sports night of the year. The Weeknd is set to provide some grooves during the halftime show.
American Idol – ABC (February 14)
The series will have you singing, crying, and laughing. Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie return as judges on season 4!
Young Rock – NBC (February 16)
Love Dwayne Johnson? Have you followed The Rock’s career since his WWE days? Now, you can get to know his childhood in the upcoming sitcom about his life!
Queen Sugar – OWN (February 16)
The Bordelon siblings are back for a fifth season which tackles COVID and BLM.
The Kenan Show – NBC (February 16)
The new single-cam comedy follows a widowed dad (played by Kenan Thompson) who is juggling a high-profile job as the host of an Atlanta morning show and raising two daughters.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey – Bravo (February 17)
Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, Dolores Catania, Margaret Josephs, Jackie Goldschneider, and Jennifer Aydin are back!!! The 11th season will address cheating rumors, excessive drinking, and more explosive fights.
Flora & Ulysses – Disney+ (February 19)
Based on the book of the same name, Flora & Ulysses follows 10-year old Flora who befriends a squirrel named Ulysses who possesses superhero powers. Your children will love this one!
Superman & Lois – The CW (February 23)
The CW introduces a new super-family into the fold of superhero shows. Per the synopsis, the show picks up years after facing supervillains and aliens with Clark Kent and Lois Lane facing their greatest challenge ever — “dealing with being working parents in today’s society” to two boys, Jonathan and Jordan. Who knew even superheroes struggle with parenting?! The premiere is 2-hour event!
Punky Brewster – Peacock (February 25)
The beloved ’80s series is returning to your TV screens! Soleil Moon Frye will reprise the titular character in the 10-episode revival. She is now a single mom of three hoping to get her life back on track when she meets a young girl in the foster system named Izzy who reminds her of her younger self.
The Walking Dead – AMC (February 25)
The series returns after a months-long hiatus. Maggie is back, which doesn’t sit well with Negan, whose safety is at risk again.
To All the Boys: Always and Forever – Netflix (February 12)
The saga comes to an epic (and romantic) conclusion with the third installment dropping ahead of Valentine’s Day. Cozy up on the couch with your besties and get lost in Peter and Lara Jean’s love story. Senior year is upon them, but will their plans for the future lead to a break up? Or is their relationship strong enough to withstand anything?
It’s groundhog day in the coming-of-age teen comedy. Two teens try to make the best of being stuck in the same day every day by searching for all the things that make a day perfect while falling in love in the process.
The United States vs. Billie Holiday – Hulu (February 26)
Andra Day takes on the legendary R&B and jazz crooner, Billie Holiday, in the drama, which finds the Federal Bureau of Narcotics launching an undercover sting operation against her.
What shows/movies are making it onto your “must-see” list in February?
Let us know in the comments!
We appreciate your support.
9 Political TV Shows & Documentaries to Watch Ahead of Inauguration Day
Inauguration day is upon us.
As the U.S. gets ready to swear in a new president, we suggest tapping into a political show to fully embrace the moment:
Here are some of our favorites:
Who could ever say no to the madness that ensues when Olivia Pope and her White Hat advise President Fitzgerald Grant?
It’s a comical yet punchy look at the White House, which finds Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the second-in-line to the Commander-in-Chief.
Kiefer Sutherland’s Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member, suddenly finds himself the President after an attack on the night of the State of the Union kills the president and nearly all of the Cabinet.
Knock Down the House
AOC, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortnerz, is among four Democratic hopefuls profiled in the documentary that highlights the race dubbed as one of the most “shocking political upsets in recent American history.”
The Final Year
The documentary filmed throughout 2016 follows Barack Obama and his team in his final term.
The West Wing
Aaron Sorkin delivered a series about the inner workings of the White House that has inspired many political shows that followed.
House of Cards
Prior to those Kevin Spacey allegations, the series was one of the most popular amongst households as it followed Congressman Frank Underwood. After he was fired, Robin Wright took the lead.
In this political drama, Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA operative and political science professor, runs the world as Secretary of State.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Critics have draw parallels between the series, a dystopian drama about a futuristic America where a society controls women, and Donald Trump’s America. The series has also inspired many protests around the world, most recently the women’s movement against the abortion ban in Poland.
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