2016 has brought us many things, Instagram Stories, Panda, Kim K robbery and two of my favorite new shows; Issa Rae’s, Insecure and Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum. Insecure is about LA based black women living in the city and dealing with real-life issues and their own personal flaws. If you are familiar with Issa’s Rae’s YouTube classic, Awkward Black Girl, than you know all about Issa’s hilarious interactions and real life situations that keep you cracking up. All of the content is current and relatable, not just for young black women but for men and women of all races.
Chewing Gum, a netflix series adapted from it’s critically acclaimed theatrical version Chewing Gum Dreams, is a semi-autobiographical sitcom chronicling the life of a 25 year old Michaela Coel’s character Tracy. The show takes place on a London council estate (housing community) and tells the hilarious story of a girl raised by a strict religious single mother and her quest to try to lose her virginity. The show (which is a huge hit just across the pond) was just released on Netflix over two months ago and already has some of the highest streaming views on the streaming service to date.
What do these two very different shows have in common? They both star young black women playing lead (non-stereotypical) roles and also writing and directing the features. This is such a major move on so many levels. It speaks to young black girls and boys everywhere that you can do it and you can run the show. What also stands out is that both Issa and Micheala shatter the idea that being lighter skinned would equate a broader reach. Both women are bosses and seem to know exactly what society needs right now, a good old fashion laugh from a not so typical point of view. #BLACKGIRLMAGIC