The Black Girls Rock! Foundation was founded in 2006 as an organization dedicated to the empowerment of young women of color; a foundation committed to helping black and brown girls overcome the myriad of obstacles a misogynoiristic society places squarely in front of them. The Black Girls Rock! Awards are now featured on BET as a way of recognizing role models, encouraging teachings of self worth, and emphasizing the talents of extraordinary women of color who are otherwise unseen in American media.
Let me emphasize that last part. “Women of color who are otherwise unseen in American media.” We need Black Girls Rock! because black girls and women are almost invisible in American media. Because if you were a black girl growing up in this country, watching TV and movies and reading magazines like every other kid, looking for some representation of yourself as something beautiful or heroic, you would be sorely disappointed.
Black Girls Rock! is necessary because when you Google “beautiful women,” this is what you see.
Because when you look at the covers of Vogue, this is what you see.
Because when Vanity Fair printed their Hollywood issue, they put the black actresses on the back cover.
Because when a dark-skinned woman is put on the cover of a magazine, this is what is done to her.
Because Pixar has never made a movie featuring a black cartoon character.
Because a black actress has never won a drama series Lead Actress Emmy. (Although Kerry Washington will change that, I am certain.)
Because in 39 years, only three black women have been part of the cast of SNL.
Because, until Scandal, the only real place you could find black women in leading roles on television was Real Housewives of _______.
Because the “first black Disney Princess” was a frog for 95% of the movie.
Read full story via Why I’m Not Here for #WhiteGirlsRock | Olivia A. Cole.
They’re in love. The only reason their relationship is in the closet is because of politics. Lots of politics: he’s already married with children, he’s the President of the United States and he’s a White man. All these things and then some are keeping them from being in a happy relationship. Many of you are rooting for Mellie and only see Olivia as a side piece, but even Fitz’s wife knows better. His marriage is a sham and if he were not ruler of the free world, Fitz would divorce Mellie and marry Olivia before his signature was dry on the divorce papers.
Shonda Rhimes says she knows exactly how the show will end and I think it will be a happily ever after scenario, or at least I hope so. If we can’t get the Happily Ever After in the make believe world of television drama then what’s the point? Think about it…so many people are unhappily married, but stay together for things like religion, children or financial security. Is it ever worth it for those reasons? No! What about love? Passion? True devotion?
Mellie deserves her Happily Ever After too! She’s catching hell in her facade as the happy and perfect First Lady. She needs to be free to pursue true love and happiness with someone who loves her the way she should be loved. I think it would be great for her to also fall in love and have an affair. That would definitely add to the Scandal and it’s only fair. What’s good for the goose is always better for the gander.
Um, sure, the twisty plotlines, laughs and romantic drama on TV are all really great, but what I’m really looking for is the fashion. Watching some of the powerful women strut their stuff, decked out in a lustrous combination of designer fashion, is the cherry on top for today’s best TV shows. Yes on the Herve Leger bandage dress, no on the feathered skirt. It is no longer such a shocker to see women on color on in today’s TV shows so if you’re on the prowl for outfit ideas or you just want to fantasize about having the costume budget from your fave shows, check out some of the best dressed characters of color and why you should worship their style.
Olivia Pope, “Scandal”
Played by Kerry Washington, Olivia Pope turns the PR and marketing world on its head as a professional person fixer-upper. As a seriously smart woman who doesn’t mess around, Olivia’s style reflects just that. Each outfit she wears is tailored, sleek and chic. She focuses on the classics, can definitely work a business suit and paired with sky high Louboutins she has no qualms about marching into the white house and whipping the President into shape. Wearing minimal accessories, Olivia shows just the right amount or skin to exude an undeniable sex appeal while remaining business appropriate.
Ashley Davenport, “Revenge”
ABC’s sleeper hit “Revenge” has exploded and each character is coming into her own. While it’s usually Emily who steals the spotlight with her style, she’s not the only character to rock a look on the show. Ashley has the fans divided squarely between those that love her and those that hate her, but everyone can agree that she has killer fashion sense. Expect to see her in prim dresses, edgy casual wear and uber-girly skirts. She also knows how to cinch her waist with the perfect belt, which makes me want to go spend an insane amount of money on leather to get the look. Ashley Davenport’s day to day style may even rival that of her character, her style blog Ashley-RingMyBell.blogspot.com has gained quite the following of girls interested in taking a peak as Ashley’s personal style.
Mindy, “The Mindy Project”
Mindy Kaling is one of those girls who would make the best BFF ever, especially if she let you borrow clothes from her closet. When she relaxes, she wears real-girl clothes from brands like Madewell and J. Crew. On her nights out, she rocks Herve Leger like it’s her job. Did I mention she’s also that BFF that you kind of hate for being pretty and funny at the same time? Because after seeing her in a party dress, I’m nursing a serious fictional love/hate relationship with her. It should be stated that we don’t see girls with her figure in a lead role of their OWN tv show. Mindy Kaling rocks every outfit, without hiding her figure, instead embracing it and truly wearing her clothes opposed to letting the outfits wear her.
If you’re bored with your look and want to change things up, look no further than the hottest women of color on TV. They’re taking risks, busting barriers and looking seriously hot at the same time. Um, anyone want to go shopping?
What other modern show do you get to see the characters regularly dressed up for balls, dances and the occasional Halloween party? Kat Graham‘s Bonnie Bennett gets to have all the fun. While she dresses like your typical teen by day, she wows for all the right stuff. Of course, she also rocks the standard issue “Vampire Diaries” leather jacket that every cast member ends up wearing every now and again. And, because she gets to take part in flashback, she even gets to wear period costumes in certain scenes – swoon!
Mercedes Jones, “Glee”
One of the reasons that I love Mercedes’ wardrobe on “Glee” is that it’s super-accessible for the young shopper. Mercedes character rocks reasonably priced, trendy pieces from places like Forever 21 mixed with the perfect amount of confidence, proving that voluptuous women can work the trends just as well as anyone else. Nope, you won’t see Mercedes swallowed in over-sized duds to “make-up” for her plus sized fierceness. Instead, tight tunics, skinny jeans and heels are all par for the course, so her style is just as impressive as her voice. Don’t forget her crazy awesome accessories – hats, boots, scarves and vests make up a covetable closet that you’d actually be able to afford.
BIO: Emiah Gardner is a write for CableTV.com, lover of fashion basics, and avid kayaker. To contact Emiah and talk to her about pop-culture/reality TV, follow her on Twitter.
Olivia From “Scandal” Is The First Black Female Lead on Network TV in 38 Years. Why That’s Not Necessarily Shocking.
Television has come a long way in the last 30 years. Gone are the days when wholesome family comedies ruled the airwaves. Now, we’ve got shows about everything from drug interventions to dating and it seems like no topic is off-limits. But one demographic has been seriously underrepresented in lead roles on network TV, and that’s black women. In fact, Olivia Pope, the ballsy “fixer” at the center of ABC’s “Scandal” is the first time in – seriously – 38 years that a black woman has nabbed a lead role on one of the big four networks. Surprised? Don’t be. Years of stereotyping and casting have made it pretty much impossible for black women to headline on network TV.
Old school. The last time a black woman held the top spot for a network show was all the way back in 1974. “Get Christie Love!” was a made-for-TV film all about a street-wise black female cop who uncovers a drug ring. You might argue that using Teresa Graves as the main character was a progressive move, but the 1970s was all about female “blaxploitation,” thanks to flicks like “Foxy Brown” and “Cleopatra Jones”—Christie Love was just the first heroine to make it to network TV. In fact, Ms. Love often called her criminals “Sugar” and used street slang to get her through the movie and a short-lived series. After that, network TV has been suspiciously void of black heroines.
Black stereotypes. OK, so network television hasn’t ignored black women for the last 38 years completely. But it hasn’t exactly done them any favors, either. On TV, three of the most-used stereotypical characters are 1) the sassy black woman (think “Oh no you di-int”), 2) the black female sexpot and 3) the angry black woman (insert cut-eye here). Take the show “Scrubs,” for example. The black character Laverne is a cranky, overweight black woman. In “30 Rock,”Tracy Morgan’s wife is an emasculating sassafras. Dr. Lanie Parish in “Castle” is a no-nonsense ball of attitude. All stereotypes aside, none of these characters can carry a show as a lead, which means that until recently black women have been seen as supporting character on network television shows.
“Scandal.” The reason Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington) nails her part as a lead on network TV is that she still retains some of her no-nonsense attitude, but it’s professional, not comical. Her other attributes take center stage and the show is wildly popular. Does that mean we have to get rid of every sassy black woman character ever? Not really – in fact, part of why those characters hit home is because everyone has a mother, aunt, sister or friend who has the same attitude. But, black women shouldn’t just be used for comedic purposes on TV. By putting strong black female characters into play as lead roles, the stereotype’s hold on casting decisions loosens just a little.
Other characters. Dying to find other shows that feature a strong black female lead? You might have to look outside network TV. Instead, check out shows like “Southland”, which features Regina Kina as a detective, or “Person of Interest,” with Taraji P. Henson as one of the main characters. Of course, there’s always “Grey’s Anatomy”, where Chandra Wilson is still going strong as the tough (and, I’ll admit, kind of angry) Dr. Bailey.
Does ABC deserve kudos or is this just a natural progression that people are ready for? Our president is black, a women in a lead role on ABC really isn’t that crazy of an idea. I think Kerry Washington was right for the part, her acting skills are sharp, and honestly her look is “approachable”, its kind. If the story is right, and the actor fits, I see no reason why more black women wouldn’t snag lead roles on network shows. Because seriously, does the world really need another sassy black z-snapper on TV?
BIO: Emiah Gardner is a write for CableTV.com, TV fanatic and political activist – whatever that means. To contact Emiah and talk to her about pop-culture/reality TV, follow her on Twitter.