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Five Netflix series you can watch to learn about racism and black oppression

By Brian Dillon

June 2, 2020 at 4:53pm


An Instagram user has highlighted five Netflix series we can watch to learn about racism black oppression.

Sharing the post, @unity.celeste wrote, "For those who want to educate and learn more but don’t know where to start, add a couple of these to your @netflixuk list to watch. There are way more, these are just 5 of my must watches."

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I’m gonna be real - for me, racism makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s 2020 yet I’m baffled at why someone’s skin colour still makes a difference to how they’re treated. So many people are getting called out on here but I can understand that EVERYONE has their ways of dealing with things. Some people internalise, some people scream off the top of their lungs, some people punch things etc. I’ve had a few conversations with my friends and family and it’s almost sad because am I surprised that this shit is still happening? No not really. Someone asked me how I feel about this situation and so many people are going to absolutely hate me for saying this but in all honesty, I feel slightly relieved. 50/60/70 years ago, we didn’t have social media, or cameras on our phones. We didn’t have platforms where regular people could speak up. Where regular people like me and you can educate others and be listened to and taken seriously. The bottom of the line is, our world is still racist but I feel that the world is more awake than ever before. Back then, do you think something like this would get so much coverage? Absolutely not. I know where I came from - my last name is Thomas ffs and come on, that definitely wouldn’t have been my original surname. Am I worried to bring a child of colour into this world? Yes. But I recognise that slavery happened for 400+ years, and radical change takes a long time. It’s been such a short time being out of that. I hate that people have to suffer for change to happen, of course it breaks my heart! No one can tell me different! But also, I’m just glad that I can see way more people of all races fighting for what’s right. Anyway, on a lighter note, for those who want to learn more but don’t know where to start, add a couple of these badboys to your @netflixuk list to watch. There are way more, these are just 5 of my must watches. Please like and share! Those of y’all that have more suggestions, feel free to drop these in the comments. I don’t want any hate on here, just love. 💖 ** EDIT - for those that can’t find the first recommendation, type in ‘Explained’ - season 1 episode 4 **

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Here are the five shows she has highlighted to learn more about racism and black oppression.

Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap

Part of the series that shines a light in topical issues, Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap explores how slavery, housing discrimination and centuries of inequality have led to a racial wealth gap.

Time: The Kalief Browder Story

This 2017 documentary series tells the story of Kalief Browder, who was spent three years in Rikers Island jail awaiting trial after being arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack. After his charges were ultimately dropped and he was released, he died by suicide.

When They See Us

Based on a true story, this 2019 American drama follows five men who were falsely accused of prosecuted on charges related to the rape and assault of a woman in Central Park, New York City in 1989.


A documentary feature by Ava DuVernay, 13th explores the racial inequality in America and shines a particular light on how the country's prisons are disproportionately filled with black people.

Who Killed Malcolm X?

Directed by Rachel Dretzin and Phil Bertelsen, Who Killed Malcolm X follows the work of historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, who has spent more than 30 years investigating the assassination of Malcolm X.

If you're looking for some books to learn about racism, then check out this list. To find out some of the ways Irish people are supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, head here.

READ NEXT: Young woman explains her experience with racism in Ireland


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