Representation matters. I remember coming up, I had Claire Huxtable and Rudy (Cosby Show), Freddie and Kimberly Reese (A Different World), and Laura Wilson (Family Matters) as representations of young black women. They looked like me, they dressed like me, and they were into the same things I was. They had lives like mine and they were positive black women.
Black women are diverse. So, there is good and bad, sophisticated and ratchet in us all. However, it seems that recently, mass media has only been broadcasting the negative portrayal of black women. When I see these “reality” portrayals, I call foul. That’s not my reality. My sisters love each other, lift each other up, everything opposite of what is portrayed.
However, when you see the various characters recently played by black women on television, it gives me hope that there will be more than one story told about who black women can be. Those diverse characters are seeing more and more roles as leading actresses in prime time shows such as Greenleaf on OWN. This amazing show gives us a plot filled with diverse black women. For each character, I truly feel I know someone just like that! The characters are so realistic. I fell in love with season one and this week, we prepare for season two.
I had the opportunity to speak with the cast of this amazing show and talk to the ladies about how representation really matters in the black community. Hear what Kim Hawthorne and Deborah Joy Winans had to say on the subject: