So far, 2016 has been a wonderful year for Black woman seizing their own opportunities. Early this spring, Kelly Rowland announced that she plans on starting a makeup line for dark-skinned women. Shea Moisture is taking a stand against the racism in the beauty industry. Recently, it was announced that Kerry Washington and Viola Davis are launching independent production companies. Take a moment to embrace all this Black girl magic.
Having two powerful Black actresses who are launching their own production companies is definite proof that Black women are taking control of their narratives. When we let shows that do not have Black characters or other characters of color interest at heart, it results in our characters being killed like in Sleepy Hollow or ignoring the importance of representing characters of color like what happened with The Mindy Project.
The television and the film industry continue to be uninterested in diversity in their shows. Programs like The Brady Bunch, Full House, or Friends were not made with Black audiences in mind. For the producers, we were not an audience worth marketing toward. People of color were a forgotten and avoided viewers. Still as Black women are winning major acting and producing awards, people still ratherwhitewash their movies and television shows rather than allow diversity to thrive.
I know that am tired of watching the blatant racism and mistreatment of characters of color in the media, and I am done waiting for other people to tell our stories. Maybe these new moves from Washington and Davis are signals that a change cometh.
As a Black writer and viewer, I am overjoyed to learn that women who look like me and my friends are controlling our stories. From my writing classes, the television shows that I watch, and the movies that I see, I have learned that people both do not understand how to create diversity in their shows, and are not willing to listen or attempt to understand how to make their characters more realistic. Now, Davis and Washington are creating the opportunities that have been denied for decades, and we are all here for it.