The tide is finally turning for Black women on television. We are dominating shows as strong leads on screen, and as visionary minds behind the scenes. From drama to daytime, Black women have been sprinkling little flecks of glitter behind whenever they grace our television screens.
The sitcom is one of the few genres that has made room for Black culture to thrive on television. When Tracee Ellis Ross took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy, she was standing on the shoulders of Black actresses who have been making our sides hurt from laughter. We wished they were our mamas, best friends, aunties, and colleagues.
Even though Black sitcoms are often only appreciated as sub-genre classics, they were a beacon of representation when Black people, especially Black women, couldn’t see ourselves elsewhere on television. I’ll never forget how annoyingly enamored I was with Hillary Banks when I first saw her on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or how afraid I was that high school would get too real, as it did for Moesha.