Viola Davis already reminded us that it’s opportunity, not talent, keeping Black women from the roles that are so readily available to white women. This is especially true in movies. But that doesn’t mean that Black actresses haven’t played some amazing characters on the big screen. Black women were the forces behind award-winning films like Fences and Hidden Figures during this awards season.
But this isn’t a new phenomenon. Black actresses have been inspiring me by playing a diverse array of roles for my whole life. Here are some of my favorite badass Black female characters.