Netflix has been killing the game lately! The streaming service has acquired the rights to seven iconic Black sitcoms from the late ’90s and early ’00s. The first of which will hit Netflix on August 1, and fans couldn’t be more excited.
The streaming giant has obtained the rights for Moesha, Sister, Sister, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Half & Half and One on One. Which will be streamable starting August 1 through October 15.
Strong Black Lead’s Announcement That Broke The Internet
The announcement was made on Strong Black Lead, Netflix’s Black content division which is devoted to promoting shows and films on the platform featuring Black characters and stories.
Strong Black Lead broke the internet by announcing the news via a video where stars from the aforementioned shows celebrated the sitcoms’ arrival on the streaming service. Tracee Ellis Ross, Tia and Tamera Mowry, and Jackée Harry were among many other celebrities who shared some of their favorite moments from the cult classics.
They also thanked the fans, addressing how a lot of them have been petitioning to add more classic Black shows to the streamer for years now.
For how long will the shows stay on the platform?
Jasmyn Lawson, a Strong Black Lead editorial executive also tweeted her thoughts once the news was officially out. “We’ve been working through the logistics to bring these shows to the platform for a very long time. And we’ve been working on the launch plan for months.” Although Strong Black Lead said that Netflix does not own the rights to these shows, they clarified that they will be on the platform for a “good and long time,” giving fans plenty of time to binge-watch.
The announcement came as a pleasant surprise to fans of the iconic shows, who sounded an overwhelming approval of the platform. Celebrities like Gabrielle Union and Chloe X Halle also shared their excitement for the streaming service’s latest initiative.
“We felt like we saw ourselves on screen, in some cases, for the very first time”
Netflix’s Bradley Edwards, (Manager, Content Acquisition) and Jasmyn Lawson, (Manager, Strong Black Lead) spoke about Strong Black Lead’s goals and aims for the audience.
“The goal of Strong Black Lead is to celebrate and lift up Black Hollywood. These trailblazing shows are a huge part of that story. From the classic clown funeral episode of The Parkers to Moesha’s mind-tripping meet-up with Brandy, we’re thrilled that our members can now enjoy these amazing classics,” the pair said.
“We admit it, we grew up watching a lot of TV. And some of the beloved Black sitcoms of the ‘90s and early aughts had a huge impact on us. These shows made us laugh, and cry, and sing along with those catchy theme songs. And mostly importantly, we felt like we saw ourselves on screen. In some cases for the very first time. Every week we were able to tune in to see people, families and friends that looked like us and characters whose everyday ups and downs reflected Black life in an authentic way,” they added.
Doing their bit as a streaming platform
Black-focused shows have recently enjoyed a surge in popularity on Netflix amid the nation’s ongoing protests regarding systemic racism and police brutality. “Dear White People” and “When They See Us” saw particularly large viewership bumps in early June. Netflix was one of the streaming platforms that recently created a Black Lives Matter category that features a variety of acclaimed titles. Including, “Moonlight,” “Malcom X,” and the aforementioned “Dear White People.”
Netflix also recently pledged $5 million to Black creators, youth organizations, and businesses as part of the company push to create “long-term opportunities” for Black entrepreneurs. That initiative included giving funds to a variety of Black-focused organizations. Including Ghetto Film School, Film Independent Project Involve, Firelight Media, and Black Public Media.
Netflix’s newest initiative is very important, especially at this time, because the 90s and early 2000s were the golden age of Black television. They provided viewers with nuanced portrayals of Black family, Black love, and Black life. These shows reflected the spectrum of the Black experience and were the blueprint for popular modern shows like black-ish, blackAF, and Insecure.
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