Five ‘Must-Know’ Black Streaming Services

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For years, streaming your favorite show or movie has been a “walk in the park,” so to speak. However, thanks to the global pandemic, many have been cutting back on outside time and opting to stay home. 

It seems that there isn’t a better time than now to dive back into the shows of your past or discover entirely new ones.

These five Black streaming services are here to help you do just that.

1) ALLBLK

From B.E.T founder Robert L. Johnson comes “ALLBLK” (formally known as UMC), launched in 2014; it was “the first streaming service” centered around Black television and film. 

This streaming service consists of a mix of original content, independent films, plays, etc. 

Original programs include shows like “Bronx SIU, Lawd Have Mercy, Notorious Queens, and Double Cross.” The platform also features films such as Jennifer Lopez and Viola Davis’ “Lila & Eve” and “Kings,” with Halle Berry and Daniel Craig.

2) kweliTV

kweliTV, founded in 2015 by DeShuna Spencer, derives its name from the Swahili word “Kweli,” meaning truth. A fitting name for a 100% Black-owned platform.

 On the “Meet the Founder” section of the website, Spencer details what drove her to create the streaming service.

 “I was frustrated with the same tired stereotypes, lack of diversity in TV shows and movies, as well as the few choices of content that focused on issues important to me,” said Spencer. 

The platform aims to “celebrate Black stories” by including content for kids, along with live programming, web series, and various films. 

With content hailing from countries such as Jamaica (“Chill Out”), Nigeria (“The Adventures of Turtle Taido”), Uganda (“Happy Today”) and The United States (“Rigamo”); overall, kweliTV seems to produce programs that focus on the black community, not just in America, but worldwide.

3) Black On Purpose Television

Black-owned and operated, Black On Purpose Television or BOPTV is home to “the largest black-owned streaming television network in the world.”  

Created by record producer Michael Campbell in 2009, the service has a wide variety of options, with categories such as “Beauty, Dance, Black Farmers & Growers, Black Music Awards, Drama and Fashion Shows.” 

The platform also includes programming catered towards kids, history, and culture, and much more. Black On Purpose Television also stresses the importance of having Black content created by black people and not just content geared towards Black people. 

4) BET+ 

Launched in 2019, BET+ is a premium subscription streaming service from BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios. 

Along with its original programming, the platform, which is also home to Perry’s work, allows you to “stream Black culture.” 

Original content includes shows like “Bigger, Dark Money, and A Luv Tale” and movies such as “Fruits of The Heart, Redeemed, and Favorite Son.”

5) AfroLandTV

Focusing on programming from Africa and within its diaspora, The Comcast NBCUniversal-backed platform, AfroLandTV was founded by actor Michael Maponga and his wife in 2020

The free streaming service includes Pan-African, Nollywood and family content, along with comedies, thrillers, romcoms, etc. Maponga considers AfroLandTV to be a niche platform, as it aims to stray away from more dower media.

“‘TV is the biggest influencer and programmer in the world. We don’t showcase titles surrounding any wars, poverty, and sickness. The big platforms are already doing that,” Maponga told African Business.

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