This week I found out that a thing called Afrostream exists. Like Netflix, it’s a subscription based VOD platform currently available in France, Africa, Europe, and soon in the U.S. On the website (which is in French) it is described as “Your favorite movies and series afro when you want where you want unlimited.” Looking at the titles, they’re dated, but whatever, I’m more amazed at the concept of a Black Netflix. I’ve searched “African American movies/shows” on Netflix many times hoping for an updated selection. Mind you, some of my favorite movies and shows have all white casts – Forrest Gump, Friends, Inglourious Basterds, Pretty Woman, to name a few – but sometimes I just want to laugh at black romantic comedies or watch shows with an all black cast…shows in addition to a A Different World. *Side eye to Netflix*
There is a power in relating to the images you see on TV and in the movies. As the women on The View and other talk shows have discussed, whether you’re a woman, Hispanic, Asian, Irish, Native American, gay, people notice when they are missing, and missing out.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is not only a modern day term used when people constantly check Facebook or Instagram. It’s actually innate. There is a part of the brain – the amygdala – that acts “like a smoke detector. It signals the brain to activate the flight or fight response when we begin to feel threatened or unsafe….FOMO arises when we become preoccupied with the feeling that we are not good enough and that we may never be.” (YouBeauty). Platforms such as Telemundo, BET, NAACP Image Awards, the CMA Awards, etc. were created to help alleviate FOMO, confusion, and anger of people who don’t see themselves on television and in the media.
“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison.
I need Afrostream in my life not because I’m ONLY interested in Black programming but because of the #BlackLack* on Netflix. I want to see black relationships. I want to see black sitcoms. Not only can Afrostream fill that void, it’s also a great reminder that our issue isn’t only our issue, but a global one as well.
*Hashtag credit: Daniel Meyer*