TV About Racism and Social Justice

These TV shows tackle the troubling issue of racism and the fight for social justice in age-appropriate ways. Kids as young as preschool can gain more awareness around racism and social inequity through shows like Sesame Street. Older kids and teens can learn more about the historical context of U.S. racism and the enduring fight for equality through docuseries about figures like Trayvon Martin and Kalief Browder, as well as provocative programming that doesn't shy away from exposing the flaws in our society. These stories can even help inspire kids to make a difference in their own communities and the world at large. For more media on these topics, try these Books About Racism and Social Justice and Books to Inspire Young Activists.

Browse TV About Racism and Social Justice

Sesame Street TV Poster Image
Classic show endures changes, but learning content remains.
Network: PBS
(2004)
(1969)
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Sesame/CNN: Standing Up to Racism TV Poster Image
Puppets, people tackle racism in great town hall special.
Network: CNN
(2020)
(2020)
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Kids, Race and Unity: A Nick News Special TV Poster Image
Star-studded special is a great conversation starter.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2020)
(2020)
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We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest Movie Poster Image
Docu about kids living MLK's legacy gives all the feels.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2020)
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We Are the Radical Monarchs Movie Poster Image
Docu about girls' social justice troop inspires all ages.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2019)
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Black-ish TV Poster Image
Race is tackled gently in fresh family friendly sitcom.
Network: ABC
(2014)
(2014)
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The Carmichael Show TV Poster Image
Comedian's show gleans laughs from polarizing news events.
Network: NBC
(2015)
(2015)
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America to Me TV Poster Image
Thoughtful documentary on race and other complex issues.
Network: Starz
(2018)
(2018)
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Degrassi: Next Class TV Poster Image
An edgier Degrassi for the digital age still has heart.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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The Black List: Vol. 1 Movie Poster Image
Profound docu explores African-American racial identity.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2008)
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The Black List: Vol. 2 Movie Poster Image
Insightful docu is as informative, inspiring as the first.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2009)
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The Black List: Vol. 3 TV Poster Image
Third docu in series is candid, colorful, and powerful.
Network: HBO
(2010)
(2010)
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Edge of Eighteen TV Poster Image
Autobiographical docuseries raises issues relevant to teens.
Network: Al Jazeera America
(2014)
(2014)
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The Fosters TV Poster Image
Heartwarming drama about foster teens and their two moms.
Network: Freeform
(2013)
(2013)
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Kim's Convenience TV Poster Image
Smart, fun, diverse Canadian show addresses social issues.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2016)
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Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story TV Poster Image
Dramatic docu about birth of Black Lives Matter movement.
Network: Paramount Network
(2018)
(2018)
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Small Axe TV Poster Image
Miniseries celebrates Black British culture; adult themes.
Network: Amazon Prime Video
(2020)
(2020)
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Time: The Kalief Browder Story TV Poster Image
Powerful docu about tragic impact of wrongful imprisonment.
Network: Spike
(2017)
(2017)
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They've Gotta Have Us TV Poster Image
Lively, important history in film docuseries; some language.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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What I Hear When You Say TV Poster Image
Docuseries tackles issues of race, class, gender, identity.
Network: PBS
(2020)
(2017)
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Gentefied TV Poster Image
Funny, family-centric drama examines race, class issues.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver TV Poster Image
Funny, smart news-driven talk show with strong language.
Network: HBO
(2014)
(2014)
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The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story TV Poster Image
Gory, talky true-crime surprisingly riveting for grown-ups.
Network: FX
(2016)
(2016)
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Underground TV Poster Image
Gripping slave drama is great viewing for mature viewers.
Network: WGN
(2016)
(2016)
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Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas TV Poster Image
Host's relaxed vibe is a welcome alternative in late night.
Network: HBO
(2018)
(2018)
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When They See Us TV Poster Image
Solid dramatic account of 1990s wrongful conviction trial.
Network: Netflix
(2019)
(2019)
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Amend: The Fight For America TV Poster Image
A creative and educational civics lesson for older viewers.
Network: Netflix
(2021)
(2021)
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The Innocence Files TV Poster Image
Humanizing docu describes graphic violence, has cursing.
Network: Netflix
(2020)
(2020)
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Insecure TV Poster Image
Raunchy, funny comedy explores stereotypes, black culture.
Network: HBO
(2016)
(2016)
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Dear White People TV Poster Image
College is complicated in series on race, sex, activism.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2017)
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Luke Cage TV Poster Image
Complex role model is bulletproof in a bloody modern world.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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Seven Seconds TV Poster Image
Strong characters fuel familiar but compelling crime drama.
Network: Netflix
(2018)
(2018)
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Watchmen TV Poster Image
Meta-superhero show is deep, violent, challenging.
Network: HBO
(2019)
(2019)
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Orange Is the New Black TV Poster Image
Quality true-story prison dramedy with sex, strong language.
Network: Netflix
(2013)
(2013)
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