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18 Black AF Shows Returning To TV This Fall

Here's every new and returning show we're tuning into this fall.

Culture & Entertainment

I don't know about y'all, but I'm just about ready for this Hot Girl Summer to finally evolve into the Fat Girl Fall that I've been waiting on all damn year. I said what I said.

I'm ready to retire my bad chick bike shorts and slip my ass into some leisure leggings, and I know I'm not the only one. There are only a few more days until it's officially fall, and I've got my watch list ready, sis. Although I'm literally crying at the fact that Shonda Rhimes took away Olivia Pope, and now, we'll be forced to say goodbye to Annalise Keating forever, there are so many new Black AF TV shows premiering this fall, I can't stay mad long.

Here's every new and returning show we're tuning into this fall:

Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Sept. 4)

Hulu

Before cash ruled everything around them, the members of the Wu-Tang Clan were just a group of kids from New York who were trying to survive the crack-cocaine epidemic. Starring Shameik Moore, Erika Alexander, and Joey Bada$$, this limited series is streaming on Hulu right now.

Top Boy (Sept. 13)

Netflix

When this British show was canceled after two seasons and put on Netflix, it caught the attention of one of the biggest musicians in the world. After learning of the show's cancellation, Drake did what any billion-dollar binge-watcher would and made a deal to help fund the show's third season, which is currently streaming on Netflix.

American Horror Story: 1984 (Sept. 18)

FX

Although the show is missing Angela Bassett, Evan Peters, Jessica Lange, and Kathy Bates this season, AHS: 1984 promises to be just as disturbing as its predecessors. Heavily influenced by horror films, Friday: The 13th and Halloween, the ninth season of AHS will make you eternally grateful to your parents for never sending you to summer camp as a kid.

Bigger (Sept. 19)

BET

Produced by industry giant, Will Packer, Bigger is set in Little Five Points and tells the story of an East Atlanta woman who, after the death of a close friend from college, decides to get the most out of her life.

First Wives Club (Sept. 19)

BET

Based on the 1996 cult classic starring Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn, and Bette Midler, First Wives Club is being rebooted and made into a series. Jill Scott, Ryan Michelle Bathe, and Michelle Buteau will star in the show as ex-wives who are seeking revenge after their marriages to sh*tty men have inevitably fallen apart.

9-1-1 (Sept. 23)

Developed by the creator of American Horror Story, 9-1-1 returns to TV for a third season on Sept. 23 and Angela Bassett's arms don't owe us anything. Chronicling the high-intensity situations that first responders experience every day, the show also stars Aisha Hinds, Connie Britton, and Jennifer Love Hewitt.

Mixed-ish (Sept. 24)

ABC

Giving us the prequel we didn't know we needed, Mixed-ish is an ABC sitcom spinoff that tells the story of a young Rainbow Barris and her family as they navigate life after moving from a hippie commune to the suburbs.

This Is Us (Sept. 24)

media1.giphy.com

Last season was a rough one, and although we weren't sure if Beth and Randall would weather their storm, our favorite TV couple is back for another season that showrunners claim will be a "fresh start for everyone". Along with meeting Rebecca's dad, the audience will also get to see a pre-school version of the big three that is guaranteed to make your heart melt.

Black-ish (Sept. 24)

ABC

With Pop's new fiancee (played by Emmy-award winning actress Loretta Devine), a much-needed Girlfriends reunion, and just as much black love as ever before, Black-ish is returning to TV for a sixth season, and we are here for all of it.

How to Get Away with Murder (Sept. 26)

ABC

This fall, How to Get Away with Murder will return for a sixth and final season and my heart cannot bear the pain. Shonda Rhimes and the HTGAWM squad have given us almost a decade's worth of sex, lies, and betrayal, and this year, the Keating 5's story will come to an end with an explosive final season where all of our questions will finally be answered.

God Friended Me (Sept. 26)

CBS

I'm not sure what I'd do if God sent me a friend request, but I know the first thing I'd have to do is remove my booty short pics from the '99s to the 2000s. In a show about the importance of spiritual connection in a digital world, we see a group of friends prove that God acts in mysterious ways and makes you wonder if your blessing could be waiting in your inbox.

Evil (Sept. 26)

CBS

When a criminal psychologist and a 6-pack having, Bible-toting priest-in-training link up to investigate the extraordinary phenomenon that has occurred in unexplained mysteries, all hell breaks loose (and I mean that literally). Developed by the creators of The Good Wife, this psychological drama stars Mike Colter and premieres on CBS for its first season on Sept. 26.

The Good Place (Sept. 26)

NBC

Back for a fourth and final season, the show about heaven, hell, and the importance of The Golden Rule is coming to an end and we'll finally learn if our favorite inhabitants of the afterlife finally make it to "The Good Place".

The Godfather of Harlem (Sept. 29)

Epix

Am I the only person who just realized Forest Whitaker and Kenn Whitaker are two different people? Mind. Blown. The Godfather of Harlem is a true story about the life of Harlem crime-boss named (played by Forest) turned hood philanthropist named Bumpy Johnson who worked closely with Malcom X in the '60s.

Raising Dion (Oct. 4)

Netflix

When Nicole Reese (played by Alisha Wainright) loses her husband (played by Michael B. Jordan) and is left to raise her young son Dion on her own, things only get more complicated when she learns that he has superpowers. The Netflix series follows Nicole and her son as they attempt to navigate his newfound abilities and understand their origin.

Black Lightning (Oct. 7)

The CW

When the daughters of a superhero-turned-high school principal are kidnapped, he reverts to his life as a vigilante and learns that his superhuman genetics run in the family. Back for a third season, the DC-comic show promises to dig deeper into the psyche of Black Lightning's arch-nemesis, Tobias.

Rhythm + Flow (Oct. 9)

Netflix

In the first-ever major hip-hop competition on Netflix, Cardi B, Chance The Rapper, and T.I. travel to some of the country's top cities to find the industry's next break-out artist.

Watchmen (Oct. 20)

In this comic book-inspired HBO series where superheroes are treated as outlaws, Regina King holds nothing back in opening up a good old fashioned can of whoop-ass on criminals and wrongdoers alike.

Featured image by NBC.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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