No Sassy Black Girl Or Token Friend Here: 10 Shows And Movies We Love That Showcase Strong Black Female Leads

November 26, 2012 ‐ By Nicole Akoukou Thompson

Black women aren’t always given the opportunity to portray strong or positive female leading characters on-screen, particularly because Hollywood is dominated by men…white men. Somehow, however, the following women have struck gold in films and television shows that would have them act as outstanding characters, showcasing strength and character in multiple capacities, depicting black women who are struggling with death, romance, violence, revenge, scandal, betrayal or simply trying to survive–all in a gracious and entertaining way.

“Scandal”: Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington stars in ABC’s Scandal as crisis manager, Olivia Pope. Pope’s character is loosely based on the real life crisis manager, Judy Smith. Washington portrays Pope as a headstrong, heavy-hearted woman who personally bears each burden that presents itself in her life. Pope leads a team of attorneys who are tasked with the goal of solving issues for politicians, celebrities and athletes. Scandal doesn’t elude Pope’s personal life, after all, she was carrying on an affair with the president of the United States–making the show all the more interesting.

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  • People you missed:
    Thandie Newton in Rogue
    Viola Davis in How to get away with murder
    Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow, although she’s second billing
    Meagan Goode in Deception

  • Some Guy

    I guess technically Zoe Saldana is “black” but she’s not Negro which is what I came here for when I Googled “black female leads” but I guess you can’t be picky when it comes to a group this paper thin…

  • Speaking of Tina, today is her birthday

  • rogue vigilante

    • psylocke_2001

      you caught that too, huh?

  • IllyPhilly

    Um hum, okay. I agreed with the TV show women although I feel like y’all left out Pam and Gina from Martin, and Thelma from Good Times besides Claire. Love and Basketball for the movies was the best on the list and I would add Robin Givens in Boomerang there too.