There are plenty of Black voices to be amplified and stories to be told, some of which have already been turned into movies and TV shows. To help teens and young people celebrate Black History Month all year around, J-14 decided to round up some informative content that is easily accessible and ready to be consumed.

Actress Yara Shahidi — who starred in the series Black-ish and its spinoff show Grown-ish — has spoken at length about how playing the character Zoey Johnson has impacted her over the years.

“Zoey Johnson has taught me how to be adventurous,” Yara told Vogue in May 2017. “Even from the first season to the third season, there’s such a drastic change in what she wears, and it’s funny, because her closet is what I wish my closet looked like. There are moments where I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, this is why the family cannot afford to send Jack to college — everything has all gone to Zoey’s closet!’”

On a more serious note, the Sun Is Also a Star actress further explained how, through her role, she’s been able to “make a difference” in the world.

“I’ve gotten to live the past couple of years publicly and so authentically myself. It’s exciting to see that I can be who I am and people will still gravitate towards that,” the Freeform star added. “I go into this world of public living, not hoping for fame or celebrity but to make some sort of impact. There is a cause and effect of putting my effort in, to do something other than what is expected or demanded of my position, and the fact that I’ve gotten so much support for it and so much love while creating some amazing memories and moments has been so gratifying.”

Throughout her time in the spotlight, Yara hasn’t just made a name for herself as an actress, but as an activist as well.

“I think about my Black and brown communities. I think about my figurative aunties and uncles in this, who supported more nuanced narratives with people and used their platform for good. I think the difference [in the past] was a lot of work was pretty quiet and there wasn’t as much of a public narrative around it, but the work was still being done,” she explained during an interview with ELLE from July 2020. “And so I think when I stepped into the space of being a series regular on a show, I was already involved in a cast, but also in a larger Black entertainment community that was consistently reckoning with questions like, ‘What is our role on television? What are the obligations we need our networks to make? And what are the environments that we need to live in to consistently make sure that we are responsible with our media?’ I think about so many people that I’m grateful to be in a community with; we may not know at first glance, but I can attest to the fact that they’re doing the work 24/7, 100 percent of the time, with whatever their platform is.”

Black-ish and Grown-ish are only two examples of shows showcasing the Black community. Scroll through our gallery for a list of what to watch during Black History Month — and all year. 

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