When We Admired Black Women On TV: Our Favorite Characters of Yesteryear

March 12, 2013 ‐ By

black women tv collage

Yesterday, during my daily Tumblr search, I found a video of Issa Rae and Andrea Lewis, formerly of “Degrassi” and currently of Those Girls Are Wild. In the video they were talking about how the portrayal of black women on television has changed, for the worst over the years. They specially referenced the golden era, the 90’s. When they discussed the positive role models we had on television at the time the first woman that came to both of their minds was “Laura Winslow” (Kellie Wiliams-Jackson). They talked about how Laura was the type of girl they could see themselves being friends with. She was normal. A regular high school girl we watched evolve into a sophisticated woman when she cut her long hair into that sleek, short Nia Long look. Honestly, the conversation left me with a bittersweet feeling. Sweet because those were good times in television and bitter because things just aren’t like that anymore. Well, in an effort to remember the good ole days, here are the black women, and in some cases teenagers or young girls, we loved to watch on television.

MadameNoire Video

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  • LMJ82

    Great Article! 🙂

  • IllyPhilly

    Hey, where’s Thelma!!!???

  • Alecia Murphy

    I’m glad you included Angela from BMW. That was among my favorite shows on TGIF simply because even though I’m not white I could relate in facing the world in the way Corey and his friends did. Angela was awesome, fun, and intelligent and she was a great addition to the show.
    Aunt Viv definitely belongs on this list too and Harriet from Family Matters in addition to Laura.

  • I love this list I know the show The Parkers started late 90’s but I wish my girl Nikki Parker would of made the list.

  • How could you forget about Vivian Banks from Fresh Prince! She was on the same level as Claire Huxtable from being a good wife, good mother, and being successful while doing it all.

    • Ashe

      Right! Both her and Claire were smart and classy, but they were also no-nonsense when it came to those kids! Great role models. (And I am partial to the 1st Aunt Viv.)

      • oh of course I was talking about the first Aunt Viv! I mean the second one wasn’t horrible but the first one set the tone!

  • Keisha Samoht

    Where is Pam you cant forget Gina’s homegirl and Shenehneh’s arch rival. Heck throw in Shenehneh and Keylolo to for giggles…

  • MsLadyE

    And let’s not forget some fabulous 80s ladies:
    Diahann Carroll from “Dynasty”, Debbie Allen from “Fame”, and Madge Sinclair from “Trapper John M.D.” These sistas definitely had their stuff together back in the day!!

  • YES! Angela from Boy Meets World was so fly. I started to explore poetry after hearing her on one of those episodes. lol

    • honest

      i hate how they don’t put Angela in the ads when they promoting boy meets world…the new proportionals make you think like she wasn’t part of the cast…i don’t like that at all…

  • BOAC

    *Sigh! This list just made my day. I loooooved these shows so much and I swore I was going to be just like Moesha when I grew. I kind of regret that I didn’t get into Boy Meets world, seems like I missed out on a great character.

    However, you forgot Laura Winslow, and Aunt Viv( the first one) from Fresh Prince of BelAir

    I feel so sad for the new generation of girls coming up…all they have is basketball wives and bad girls club…smh

    • honest

      don’t forget Tia&Tamera and Yevette from smart guy….the 90s was the last generation…i feel bad for these young bucks too

    • Keisha Samoht

      Oh i forgot about Laura! Wasnt there a black girl on Blossom before that show ended?