20 Black TV Characters Who People Identified With

20 Black TV Characters Who People Identified With

“I feel like she’s playing my life on television.”

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which Black characters on TV made them feel seen. Here are some of their responses:

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

1.

Winston Bishop from New Girl


Fox

“Everything about his personality was so different, and it was cool to see a character who didn’t get written into the usual Black friend trope. He was sensitive, had a unique wardrobe, was in love with his cat, and not like any Black character I had really seen at the time.”

bfranks87

2.

Olivia Pope from Scandal


ABC

“She was powerful and badass and was never afraid to ask for what she wanted. She fought for her team and always put others above herself.”

aztecwater

3.

Chyna Parks from A.N.T. Farm


Disney

“Growing up as a young Black girl, I had never really seen a female lead on Disney Channel who looked like me. I wanted to be JUST like her as a kid.”

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4.

Eric Effiong from Sex Education


Netflix

5.

Issa Dee from Insecure


HBO

“I really feel like she’s playing out my life on television. I’m just as awkward as she is.”

aasiyahhhh

6.

Molly Carter from Insecure


HBO

“I remember tearing up watching the first episode. She’s lovable, but flawed — I’ve never seen a character so much like me. She shows that even the strongest of us have vulnerabilities.”

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7.

Erica Sinclair from Stranger Things


Netflix

“Even though she matches the sassy Black girl stereotype, she’s also a nerd and super good at math. She’s also really funny and she helped the Scoop Troop in the last season!”

silentbird

8.

Sam White from Dear White People


Netflix

“There’s a scene in the first season where she’s walking through campus listening to some Lana Del Rey kind of music, but then as soon as someone walks past her, she switches to rap. That was the first time I had ever seen code switching portrayed so blatantly on TV. It hit me so hard knowing that I do the exact same thing as a biracial Black woman.”

yolaeffendi

9.

Virgil Hawkins from Static Shock


The WB

“He was a nerdy, intelligent Black kid who liked comic book heroes and video games. He was just trying to do the right things in a world full of people trying their best to make his life terrible.”

adroa

10.

Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place


NBC

“His character development over the series really resonated with me. He went from being indecisive about everything to being confident in his ability to address huge questions about the afterlife. Seeing a Black character with such complexity was refreshing.”

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11.

Burton “Gus” Guster from Psych


USA Network

“Gus knows who he is. He works hard and always tries to do what’s right. He is unapologetic about his quirks, he’s fun, and he’s a relentlessly good friend.”

terriblymikie

12.

Raven Baxter from That’s So Raven


Disney

“She was unapologetically Black. She got to have normal teen girl issues — not every episode was about her being Black — but the show also didn’t ignore her or her family’s Blackness.”

alasiamilan

13.

Jodie Landon from Daria


MTV

“She was a perfectionist in school like me, and I identified with her struggles as a Black girl in a majority white school. She never let them see her sweat. Still my favorite character of all time.”

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14.

Alicia Johnson from Mixed-ish


ABC

“I think anyone who’s grown up in a white neighborhood can agree that being told you ‘act too white’ freaking sucks. It was nice to see someone who didn’t fit the standard of what Black women ‘should’ act like, and how she struggles with being told she isn’t acting Black enough anymore. Her children are a breath of fresh air too, and it’s nice to see the show specifically highlight the struggles of growing up mixed-race.”

bonhoevi

15.

Tamia “Coop” Cooper from All American


The CW

“She’s not just one of the best Black characters on television — she’s one of the best characters on TV, PERIOD.”

dcbshowstopper

16.

T.J. Henderson from Smart Guy


Disney

“He was just a sweet Black kid who really liked learning. Also, we both have dimples! As a little 12-year-old Black boy, it was nice seeing someone like me.”

azizcoleman

17.

Synclaire James-Jones from Living Single


Fox

“She’s kind of hippy-ish and weird, but she’s also loyal to her friends and the goofy voice of reason.”

iwantmypinkshirtback

18.

Darius from Atlanta


FX

“He’s at peace with the world 24/7. I can only aspire to be like him one day. Plus he’s the funniest character I’ve seen on TV in a while, period.”

majorpainne

19.

Kim Parker from Moesha


UPN

“Kim was everything to me. I looked a lot like her in terms of size and shape growing up, and seeing her in all her sassy, spunky, witty, glory really helped me find my own voice. Not to mention she was always fly! From the hair to the outfit to the makeup to the nails, Kim was never not ready!”

tdriggs

20.

And finally, Zoey Johnson from Black-ish and Grown-ish


ABC

Black-ish and Grown-ish really displayed what it was like to be a black teenage girl going on adult. Zoey was relatable in every single way and definitely made me feel seen.”

jking03

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

Which Black characters made YOU feel seen? Tell us about them in the comments!

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