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11 TV Moments From 2017 That Were Black As Hell

From "bute and thick" to a crazy competitive game of black Monopoly, here are some of the blackest scenes that graced television this year.

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1. Whenever Issa's Blood neighbor replaced his C's with B's on Insecure

HBO / Via

It's been said no less than 100 times, and probably more, that HBO's Insecure is one of the blackest shows on television. While the storylines and well-developed characters play a huge role in that, the show's black-ass details are another major aspect of this characterization. And Issa having a neighbor who's a Blood, who replaces all his C's with B's as that gang tends to do, is one of those hilarious touches that make the show so funny.

2. When Olivia’s mom checked her on Scandal

Richard Cartwright / ABC

Nobody puts Olivia Pope in a corner, especially in the final season of Scandal when she's taken off her white hat and embraced her dark and powerful side. The one exception to this has often been Olivia's dysfunctional parents. When it comes down to it, like most black children, Olivia respects her parents, no matter how crazy they get. A great example of that this season was when Olivia tried to storm away from her mother after going to her for advice and Maya yelled at her to stop being dramatic and sit her ass back down. And indeed Olivia sat her ass back down after trying to be all big and bad.

3. When they played "black Monopoly" on Blackish


Blackish is good at showing the nuances of growing up in a black family. One of the best examples of that this season was the entire episode about them playing black Monopoly. No, it's not a special edition of the classic board game that you can buy — the difference is in how most black people actually play the game and how competitive it gets. The show did an A+ job of displaying how in most black households, blood is not thicker than the competitive drive to beat your relatives in a game. Doesn't matter if it's Monopoly, taboo, or spades — shit gets real.


5. This "don't get it twisted" moment from This Is Us

NBC / Via

While talking to the mother of Deja, the teenage foster child he and Beth took in this season, Randall senses that she's got him confused for a different type of black man (i.e., the rich kind who isn't in touch with his blackness or his people). He decides to set her straight and inform her that he's married to a black queen. Him noting that he wakes up every morning next to a headscarf and coconut oil was hilarious but also true.

6. Every time they watched Defamation on Dear White People


The way black people talk to the television at home is an art form that's only amplified at black watch parties. Think Black Twitter during #Scandal and #Insecure but live. Dear White People captured that experience perfectly by incorporating a fake Scandal-like show within the show that all the students are obsessed with.


8. When Terry Silver from Power turned out to be a Morehouse man


The fact that Terry Silver from Power turned out to be a "Morehouse Man" is a reveal that may only be funny to HBCU alum who can catch all the subtle ways in which he fits the stereotype of a Morehouse graduate. Love a good black inside joke on national television. Fun fact: Brandon Victor Dixon is a Morehouse graduate IRL.

9. When Annalise's mom schooled the woman at the nursing home about American history in How to Get Away With Murder

Mitch Haaseth / ABC

Every time Cicely Tyson, who plays Annalise's mom on How to Get Away With Murder, makes an appearance on the show, it's blackness peaks. Who will ever forget that time she oiled Annalise's scalp? This season, she used her well-seasoned blackness to school the guide at the nursing home she and Annalise were touring. As they were walking through the facility, the tour guide pointed out that they keep old photographs around as a reminder of the "good ole days." Tyson turns around and quips, "Whose good ole days?!" #clapback

10. Whenever Queen Sugar put being black in America into context


Ava DuVernay is consistently killing it when it comes to the dialogue on Queen Sugar. The way they weave our fears and hopes into the story always feels authentic. Some lines, like the one above, are so real it's hard to believe you're seeing them said on TV.

11. Cynthia and Joe's reaction to Maxine believing in the universe on The Carmichael Show


The Carmichael Show (RIP) was arguably the blackest show on network television during its run. One of the things they were really good at was comparing the generational differences between black millennials and black baby boomers. Cynthia and Joe trying to understand Maxine's non-church-defined spirituality was one of those hilarious moments.

Sylvia Obell is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Sylvia Obell at

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