Black Classic TV Shows
This is a listing of Black TV shows available on DVD. We’ve not only included programs that have all-Black casts, but also notable ones starring African-Americans.
The very first weekly program to star an African-American was “Beulah”, which began airing in 1950. This program was followed by the “Amos ‘n Andy” comedy TV show which had an all-Black cast, but was controversial.
After “Amos ‘n Andy.” there weren’t any major starring roles for African-Americans on television until the 1960s program “I Spy.” Bill Cosby co-starred in this show as an undercover international spy. His role was considered groundbreaking in its depiction of an African-American man on TV without a lot of racial tension.
During the 1970s, a large number of Black cast TV shows began airing like "Good Times", “The Jeffersons", and “Sanford and Son.” Most of these shows were situational comedies. Some of the characters in these programs like “J.J.” and “Fred Sanford” are still memorable names to viewers who watched these programs during this time.
The biggest TV hit of the 1980s was “The Cosby Show” which debuted in 1984 and remained on television for eight seasons. This program shattered many stereotypes of African-Americans and helped open the doors for more Black television programs. The first offshoot of this TV show was the college-based show, “A Different World.”
In the 1990s more popular African-American TV shows emerged to make their mark in homes across America. This included programs like the “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", “Martin” and the comedy show “In Living Color.”
As we move further into the 21st century, the presence of African-Americans on television continues to grow, making it more common than the rare beginnings of the 1950s.
Do you have a favorite Black TV program?
Check out the list to see if it is available on DVD. Enjoy!
If there is a TV show that you are looking for but are unable to find, please Contact Us and we’ll try to help you find it.