Afrofuturism TV Shows to Watch in 2023: Black Futures on TV

Gil Santos
Afrofuturism TV Shows to Watch in 2023: Black Futures on TV

Afrofuturism has emerged as a captivating genre that combines African heritage with visions of the future, resulting in thought-provoking and visually stunning television experiences.

Influenced by Afrofuturism, these TV shows delve into themes such as technology, identity, and social issues. They challenge conventional narratives and offer fresh perspectives on how we perceive the world around us. With its rise in popularity over recent years, Afrofuturism has not only captivated audiences but also shaped the landscape of film and television itself.

From mind-bending sci-fi series to visually striking dramas, these shows embrace Afrofuturism's unique blend of cultural heritage and visionary storytelling.

Must-Watch Afrofuturism TV Titles

Let's go straight to the point: these are the best Black Future series on Television. After this list, we will dig deeper about Afrofuturism story and narratives. 

"Lovecraft Country" combines horror, fantasy, and racial commentary set in the 1950s Jim Crow era.

Set in the racially segregated 1950s Jim Crow era, "Lovecraft Country" seamlessly blends elements of horror, fantasy, and social commentary. The show follows Atticus Freeman as he embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover family secrets while facing supernatural creatures and battling against systemic racism.

With its unique mix of genres and thought-provoking storytelling, "Lovecraft Country" explores themes of race and identity in a way that captivates viewers from start to finish.

Where to watch Lovecraft Country?

Visit our Lovecraft Country page to find streaming platforms to watch it now.

"Watchmen" explores race relations through a superhero lens while addressing historical events like the Tulsa Massacre.

"Watchmen" takes a bold approach in exploring race relations through the lens of superheroes. Set in an alternate reality where masked vigilantes exist, the show delves into complex themes such as systemic racism and white supremacy.

It fearlessly confronts historical events like the Tulsa Massacre, shedding light on real-world atrocities often overlooked in mainstream narratives. "Watchmen" serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of acknowledging and learning from our history.

Where to watch Watchmen?

Visit our Watchmen page to find streaming platforms to watch it now.

“Noughts + Crosses”, set in an alternate reality where Africa has colonized Europe, delves into the complexities of race relations

"Noughts + Crosses" is an Afrofuturist TV show that delves into the complexities of race relations in a dystopian society. Set in an alternate reality where Africa has colonized Europe, the show explores the power dynamics between the ruling Black elite, known as Crosses, and the oppressed white underclass, known as Noughts. Through its captivating storyline, "Noughts + Crosses" challenges viewers to confront their own biases and prejudices, highlighting the importance of equality and justice.

The show masterfully combines elements of science fiction, romance, and political drama to create a thought-provoking narrative that addresses the enduring legacy of racism and discrimination.

Where to watch Noughts + Crosses?

Visit our Noughts + Crosses page to find streaming platforms to watch it now.

"Kindred" delves deep into the themes of ancestral connections, power dynamics, and the enduring resilience of the human spirit

"Kindred" is a captivating TV show that explores the complexities of time travel and its impact on race and identity. Based on the groundbreaking novel by Octavia Butler, the series follows the story of Dana, a young African American woman who finds herself repeatedly transported back in time to the antebellum South. As she navigates the horrors of slavery, Dana is faced with the challenge of protecting her own existence while also confronting the harsh realities of racism and oppression.

With its thought-provoking storyline and powerful performances, the show serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of confronting our past in order to shape a more just and equitable future.

Where to watch Kindred?

Visit our Kindred page to find streaming platforms to watch it now.

"Yasuke" transcends historical recounting by incorporating futuristic technology, magic, and a blend of African and Japanese cultural aesthetics

"Yasuke" anime, inspired by the true story of an African warrior who became a samurai under the daimyo Oda Nobunaga, stands as a groundbreaking addition to the world of anime, intertwining Afrofuturist themes with Japanese historical fiction. This unique fusion crafts a narrative that not only centers on the experience of the African diaspora in an unfamiliar land but also paints a world where traditional boundaries of time, technology, and culture blur.

The show's soundtrack, masterfully composed by Flying Lotus, further elevates its Afrofuturist essence, merging traditional sounds with futuristic beats. "Yasuke" exemplifies the boundless possibilities of Afrofuturism in animation, emphasizing the importance of diverse, cross-cultural storytelling in the genre.

Where to watch Yasuke?

Visit our Yasuke page to find streaming platforms to watch it now.

"Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire" captivates audiences with its rich tapestry of stories inspired by the African continent

The groundbreaking Afrofuturist animation anthology draws from diverse cultures, histories, and mythologies, presenting a series of futuristic tales that re-imagine the African experience through the lens of science fiction and fantasy. Each episode, crafted by different African animation teams, offers a unique perspective, ensuring a vast array of voices and styles are represented.

This anthology not only showcases the immense talent emerging from Africa's animation industry but also solidifies Afrofuturism's place in the global animation narrative, emphasizing the importance of diverse storytelling in shaping the future of entertainment.

Where to watch Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire Country?

Visit our Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire page to find streaming platforms to watch it now.

“Black Mirror” and “The Twilight Zone” episodes with Afrofuturism themes

While series like "Black Mirror" and "The Twilight Zone" aren't inherently Afrofuturist in nature, they've both presented episodes that distinctly echo Afrofuturist themes. In "Black Mirror," episodes like "Black Museum" delve into the horrors of technological exploitation, with a particular focus on the Black experience and systemic racism.

Similarly, Jordan Peele's reboot of "The Twilight Zone" has episodes like "Replay," which, through the lens of speculative fiction, confronts the harsh realities of racial profiling and police violence against Black Americans.

These episodes, even within more broadly themed series, showcase the importance and resonance of Afrofuturist perspectives in contemporary media.

After exploring these compelling Afrofuturistic TV shows, if you're eager to dive further into the realm of Black speculative fiction, don't miss our curated list of the Black Sci-Fi Movies to Watch in 2023.

Origins and History of Afrofuturism

Afrofuturism, a cultural movement that combines the African diaspora with elements of science fiction, has a rich history dating back to the 1950s. This unique genre explores themes of technology, identity, and liberation within the context of Black culture.

Artists such as Sun Ra and Octavia Butler played significant roles in shaping early Afrofuturistic ideas. Sun Ra, a jazz musician and composer, infused his music with cosmic imagery and futuristic concepts. His performances often featured elaborate costumes and stage designs that transported audiences into otherworldly realms. Similarly, Octavia Butler, a renowned science fiction writer, explored themes of race, power dynamics, and social justice in her novels. Her works challenged traditional narratives by centering Black characters in futuristic settings.

One key aspect of Afrofuturism's history is its connection to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s. As Black communities fought for equality and liberation, Afrofuturist art emerged as a form of resistance against systemic oppression. By imagining futures where Black people thrived on their own terms, artists sought to inspire hope and empower marginalized communities.

Over time, Afrofuturism has expanded beyond its origins in music and literature to encompass various forms of media including film, visual art, fashion, and even television shows. TV shows like "Black Mirror" explore dystopian futures while addressing social issues, often drawing inspiration from Afrofuturist themes. By presenting thought-provoking narratives that challenge societal norms, these shows contribute to the ongoing evolution of Afrofuturism.

Exploring Afrofuturism in TV Shows

Science fiction has long captivated audiences with its imaginative portrayal of futuristic worlds and technologies. Many TV shows have embraced this genre, incorporating holograms, advanced AI, and virtual reality into their narratives. However, the subgenre Afrofuturism takes this exploration to another level by challenging traditional notions of race and identity. These Afrofuturistic TV shows not only entertain but also allow us to delve into social issues and comment on real-world problems in a speculative context.

Fusing Science Fiction with Social Commentary

Afrofuturism provides a unique platform for TV shows to explore the complexities of society while offering an escape into fantastical realms. By blending science fiction elements with social commentary, these shows encourage viewers to question existing power structures and imagine alternative futures.

One aspect that sets Afrofuturistic TV shows apart is their commitment to diverse representation. Through intentional casting choices, these shows reflect the multicultural nature of our world and challenge the underrepresentation of marginalized communities in mainstream media. This inclusion is not merely tokenistic; it allows characters from different backgrounds to navigate futuristic landscapes, breaking stereotypes and offering fresh perspectives.

Breaking Barriers through Speculative Fiction

Speculative fiction within Afrofuturistic TV shows enables creators to address contemporary issues indirectly while maintaining an engaging storyline. By presenting social problems within a futuristic context, these shows encourage viewers to critically analyze current realities without feeling overwhelmed or defensive.

For example, a show set in a post-apocalyptic future might explore themes of environmental degradation and climate change. Through this lens, viewers can reflect on our present-day actions without feeling directly targeted or preached at. The speculative nature of Afrofuturism allows for nuanced discussions about systemic racism, gender inequality, or economic disparities while still providing an entertaining narrative.

Exploration Knows No Bounds

Afrofuturism in TV shows offers a vast playground for exploration. It pushes the boundaries of imagination and challenges creators to envision worlds that transcend our current limitations. From futuristic cities with advanced technology to intergalactic adventures, these shows transport us to realms where anything is possible.

Moreover, Afrofuturism allows for the exploration of cultural heritage and traditions within a futuristic context. By blending elements of African culture with science fiction tropes, these shows celebrate diversity and offer fresh perspectives on identity.

Empowering Black Characters in Afrofuturism TV Shows

Afrofuturistic TV shows have revolutionized the portrayal of Black characters, providing them with opportunities to showcase their talent and embody complex, multidimensional roles. These shows defy stereotypes and elevate black characters by highlighting their strength, intelligence, and resilience.

In the realm of Afrofuturism, Black characters are no longer confined to supporting roles or one-dimensional stereotypes. They take center stage as superheroes, leaders, and agents of change.

These shows present narratives that empower Black audiences by showcasing the potential within their community. By featuring strong Black protagonists who overcome adversity and challenge societal norms, these TV shows inspire viewers to believe in their own capabilities.

One aspect that sets Afrofuturism apart is its ability to break free from traditional character tropes often associated with Black individuals. Instead of being portrayed solely as victims or sidekicks, Black characters in Afrofuturistic TV shows embody agency and self-determination. They possess a depth that allows them to navigate complex storylines while challenging preconceived notions about what it means to be a Black man or woman.

Through these representations, Afrofuturism empowers both actors and audiences alike. Black actors are given the opportunity to showcase their talent beyond limited roles typically available in mainstream media. This not only expands their career prospects but also challenges industry norms by proving that diverse stories can captivate audiences.

For viewers, seeing empowered Black characters on screen offers validation and inspiration. It reinforces the idea that they too can achieve greatness despite societal barriers. Afrofuturism TV shows provide a platform for Black audiences to see themselves reflected positively, fostering a sense of pride and belonging.


It's clear that Afrofuturism is not just a genre; it's a catalyst for change in the entertainment industry.

The rise of Afrofuturism has sparked conversations about diversity, representation, and cultural appropriation within the entertainment industry. More production companies are investing in Afrofuturistic projects due to their popularity and potential for social impact. The success of Afrocentric stories has paved the way for more diverse storytelling across various genres.

Furthermore, the success of Afrofuturistic films and TV shows has influenced other genres as well. It has encouraged storytellers from diverse backgrounds to explore new narratives that break away from conventional storytelling structures. This shift towards more inclusive storytelling benefits not only marginalized communities but also the industry as a whole by fostering creativity and innovation.


Are there any upcoming Afrofuturism TV shows to look forward to?

Yes! Watch for upcoming TV adaptations of Afrofuturistic novels such as Octavia E. Butler’s “Fledgling,” Jewelle Gomez's vampire tale "The Gilda Stories," and "The Gilded Ones." Also, don't miss our curated list of upcoming Black TV Shows.

Can I find Afrofuturism outside of TV shows?

Absolutely! While our focus here was on Afrofuturism in TV shows, this genre extends beyond television. You can find it in literature, music, art, fashion, and even video games. Explore these mediums to further immerse yourself in the world of Afrofuturism.

How can I support diversity and representation in the entertainment industry?

Supporting diverse and representative content is crucial. Seek out and consume media that amplifies underrepresented voices, whether it's TV shows, movies, books, or music. Engage in conversations about diversity and representation, uplift marginalized creators, and demand inclusivity from the entertainment industry.

Where can I find recommendations for Afrofuturism TV shows?

For the latest recommendations on Afrofuturism TV shows, refer to Culture Bay’s constantly updated article, "Upcoming Black TV Shows." This comprehensive guide provides insights into the newest and most anticipated Black-led series, ensuring you stay informed on the latest trends and releases.

About the Author

Gil Santos

With over 20 years of experience in various narrative mediums, Gil Santos is the singular mind behind Culture Bay. His journey began as a lyricist and web developer, later expanding into crafting dynamic conference presentations and engaging YouTube sketches. This diverse background has allowed him to hone his storytelling skills across different fields. Santos' lifelong passion for sci-fi and fantasy, combined with his knack for interactive storytelling, culminate in Culture Bay - a fusion of innovative ideas and engaging narratives intended for all to enjoy.



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