Updated: Jun 9
I am a "cord cutter". I quit cable service as soon as I discovered Netflix. The first thing I watched was Luther, a BBC crime drama starring my FAVORITE actor, Idris Elba. I love crime, action, mystery movies, and TV shows and streaming allows me to consume as much as I want, whenever I want.
As a paid subscriber, l was pissed about the $100M Netflix deal to keep streaming that lily white show about 6 melanin-challenged friends living in the most ethnically diverse city on the planet yet they themselves had no friends that were POC... yeah, that show. There were so many other projects worth the $100 million investment. Not to mention the rise in price Netflix has coming soon... But I digress.
It's been 7 or 8 years since streaming has become a part of my life and since then, Black Owned streaming services have become available. Netflix still airs Luther and has some pretty good original shows but it does not satisfy all of my entertainment and cultural needs. I didn't need too many more reasons to purchase additional streaming services that reflect the Black experience.
Here are a few:
Photo Credit: My Living Room
Want to stream full-length features, indie-films, web-shows, & documentaries from Black film-makers from everywhere in the world? Kweli TV is your best bet. I have been a subscriber since it was in beta. For $5.99/month, you can watch content from content creators in Africa and the decedents of Africans living in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia.
Many of them are thought-leaders, journalists, filmmakers, activists, teachers, historians, artists, entertainers whose stories do not find their way to mainstream media or the larger streaming platforms. Stream Video on Demand for $2.99 if the monthly subscription does not interest you but you can't stream in HD like the rest of us who chose the monthly payment option. Monthly subscriber benefits also include KewliDeals, discounts from Black-Owned Businesses!
Kweli TV has action, comedy, drama, sci-fi, anime, sports, children's programming and a few other genres! Subscribe here.
Black & Sexy TV
Photo Credit: The Root
Black & Sexy TV is the network birthed from the film “A Good Day to be Black and Sexy” directed by Dennis Dortch. Exclusive series, movies, and special footage is offered at $7.00/month. Much like the name suggests, Black & Sexy TV provides programming reflective of modern relationships and sexuality in the Black community. Their following developed after the first Web series, The Number, on YouTube. Soundtracks from the various series are also available.
Available on iPhone, Apple TV, Android, and Roku, you can subscribe here.
American Legacy Network
Photo Credit: AmericanLegacyNetwork.tv
American Legacy Network is more than a streaming service. ALN is a magazine, a mobile African American museum truck, a curriculum guide, and a board game specializing in celebrating and preserving Black History and culture. As a streaming service, ALN provides access to classic Black films, documentaries, and original programming.
ALN allows you to tour African American museums and research centers from across the nation. Other channels include lifestyle, blaxploitation, sports, and even short films featuring Black Hollywood legends and musicians. American Legacy Network is family-oriented entertainment.
The web/mobile-friendly version of American Legacy Network is now available at AmericanLegacyNetwork.TV for $3.99 per month. Currently, available on both Apple and Android devices, Amazon TV, and Roku.
Click here to start streaming.
Photo Credit: Nollyland
Africans take drama to a whooole other level. If you like intense, comedic, plot-twisting movies that evoke every emotion, you need to get into Nollywood movies. They never, EVA, disappoint! The quality of these movies varies from watching 2 hours of footage filmed on a cell phone to blockbuster "why-ain't-this-playing-in-a-movie-theater" cinematography.
Designed and built by Africans, NollyLand is Africa's First World-Class Movie Platform providing 1000's of Nigerian, Ghanaian, Ghollywood, and African movies. Content curators do a good job of selecting the best of the best for our viewing pleasure. Subscribers can sign up for one NollyLand Account and view NollyLand films on all major devices: iPhone, iPad, Android, Xbox, Roku, Roku TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Windows operating systems, and Google TV.
Starting at $2.99, you can get your monthly subscriptions and day passes here.
Photo Credit: Brown Sugar
"That's my sista baby, and she's a whole lotta woman."
If you know what movie that line is from, Brown Sugar is the streaming service for you. Badass actress Pam Grier described Brown Sugar as being, "just like Netflix, but Blacker." And with cult classics available to stream like Coffy, Dolemite, and Car Wash she may be right.
Brown Sugar has the largest collection of classic urban movies available on one streaming service. These movies for many were the 1st time Black men and women were seen as heroes challenging drug dealers and taking down The Man. Blaxploitation forever challenged film-making and heavily impacted pop culture.
Now you can watch these films for $3.99/month. Brown Sugar and chill here.
Photo Credit: Black Box Movies
BlackBoxMovies.co is a video streaming service for users to watch black movies and TV shows & the latest releases on demand. Periodt.
For $6.99/month or $39.99/year, you can watch TV and cable shows like Blackish, Queen Sugar, and Claws as well and the most recent movie releases. To view, simply connect your HDMI cord from your PC to your TV and log into BlackBoxMovies.co. You can also enjoy your favorite shows with your Apple TV or Chromecast devices.
Sign up here.
Black on Purpose TV
Photo Credit: Black On Purpose TV
BOP TV is available worldwide. You can watch on the web via laptop, desktop or mobile device, connected devices like Roku TV, Amazon Firestick and more. In fact, more than a dozen devices support BOP TV as a Premium channel for $4.99/month.
Black on Purpose TV features 16 channels of programming aiming to show people of color from around the world in a true and positive light, free from negative stereotypes. Arts & Entertainment, Education, Fashion & Beauty, Health, History & Culture, Inside BOP TV, Inspirational, Kids & Teens, Movies, News, Radio, Shopping, Sports, Travel, and TV Shows are available. BOP TV does offer a free 3-day trial. Get yours here.
Photo Credit: AfroKids.com
Afrokids® provides interactive features produced in various media forms including animation and puppetry to engage and educate young minds. Though the content on the website is designed to targeted children, the website design needs an adult makeover. It is not eye-catching and looks outdated.
While AfroKids.com provides free content, AfroKids.TV is the paid subscription premium website offering more than just streaming videos. For $5.00/month, your children will have access to content of discovery like games, e-books, and printable painting pages. Video entertainment available from AfroKids.TV is segmented for ages 3 to 5 years, 6 to 8 years, and 9+ years old. They will sing, hum, and laugh along with Afrokids characters and new content is said to be updated weekly.
Visit AfroKids.TV to subscribe to entertainment centered on cultural heritage, teachable moments, family values, respect, and responsibility.
Dame Dash Studios
Dame Dash's name carries a lot of weight and just as many titles - Co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, record executive, film producer, director, and actor. He came through to Minority Report featuring Black-Owned Businesses, Live on Facebook to discuss the re-launch of his streaming app providing exclusive content! Dame Dash Studios features classic movies like Paid in Full and more. Viewers can also enjoy music, stand-up comedy, interviews, live performances, political commentary, cooking, yoga, spiritual guidance, educati0n, and therapy! The Dame Dash Studio App is available on iTunes, Google Play Store, Apple TV, Roku, & Amazon Fire TV.
Dame Dash was a guest on Minority Report featuring Black-owned Businesses. Catch the replay now streaming on YouTube.
The subscription streaming video on-demand (SVOD) service hosts hundreds of hours of original and acquired lifestyle content, scripted TV series, and movies. In addition to premium HD programming, Demand Africa features free access to online short-form videos, thousands of African and Caribbean-inspired recipes, travel and lifestyle blogs and more, highlighting content across the African diaspora.
Begin streaming licensed and original content when you subscribe here: https://watch.demandafrica.com/
BlackOakTV is a brand new subscription video streaming service with a mission to exclusively focus on black web series, short films, TV shows, and movies from the underrepresentation of black people in media.
Start your 7-day trial when you sign up here.
Original, edgy, cinematic & compelling series & films from Arthouse Digital are for the menalanted millennial of social, political, sexual, and interpersonal transcendence.
Artistic cinema is available now for $9.99/mo or $99 annually.
Web-series, movies, shorts, non-scripted, critical, documentaries, music, and reality shows for and created by Black queer and trans community. Slay TV is the premier streaming platform for Black LGBTQ representation in media and entertainment.
Urban Flix TV
Boasting high caliber multicultural content, Urban Flix TV streams genre-bending scripted and unscripted series, musical features, stage plays, VR, stand-up comedy specials, documentaries, and short-form stories by young aspiring creatives.
Subscriptions start at $3.99/month. Sign up here.