“We Were All Rooting For You!”: 10 Iconic Black Women Television Moments

March 9, 2018  |  
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Clair Huxtable, iconic Black women moments TV


There are just some moments on television that are are hard to forget. When you think of certain shows, you think of the scene that left you in your feelings. For example, Will Smith’s emotional moment with James Avery’s Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince after his father (played by Ben Vereen) left him hanging once again. But it’s not only the men who leave us with scenes we still talk about to this day. Women certainly have represented on screen. Here are 10 iconic Black women moments from your favorite TV shows to reminisce on.

“I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you.” – Tyra Banks

When Tiffany Richardson was eliminated during Cycle 4 of America’s Next Top Model, her nonchalant attitude about it left Tyra Banks filled with disappointment. The iconic model made sure to vocalize just that. In true Black mama fashion, Banks read Richardson for filth for not taking her opportunity seriously and making excuses for her lack of effort. If you’d like to save this moment forever, there’s always this fantastic meme: 

When the Original Aunt Viv Turned That Dance Class Out

The original Aunt Viv, played by Janet Hubert, may not get the love she used to these days, but she gets all the props for going bananas on the dance floor in this iconic scene. Testing out her childhood dreams to be a dancer, Aunt Viv took it upon herself to enroll in dance classes, but things didn’t originally go as planned. Initially biting off more than she could chew and enrolling in a class with women half her age, Viv’s dancing experience ended with a sore body and much disappointment. But with practice and resilience, she eventually came back to reclaim her time and her reputation with a memorable dance number that left her haters speechless.

“You get a car!” – Oprah Winfrey

Don’t we all wish we were in that audience the day when the Queen of Talk gave away cars to her entire audience? It’s one of her all-time favorite Oprah Winfrey Show moments, and one of ours as well. 

Annalise Keating Bears It All 

We all know Viola Davis is an icon, but her portrayal as Annalise Keating in ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder has allowed her to reach new levels of iconic. In this clip, Annalise goes completely raw and vulnerable as she takes off her wig and removes all of her makeup. Despite the stress and confusion of her own crazy personal life, Annalise takes a moment to be still, and embrace who she is in her beautiful, natural state.

The Incomparable Clair Huxtable

The loving mom, wife and hard working lawyer, played by Phylicia Rashad, was a no-nonsense type of woman. In this feminist rant, Huxtable calls out son-in-law Elvin, played by Geoffrey Owens, on his misogynistic attitude. Instead of waiting to supply your husband’s every need, which was the initial opinion of the duties of a wife according to Elvin, Clair informs him of the real foundation of a marriage. 

When Melanie finally caught Derwin cheating

This moment was for all the women who’ve ever experienced heartbreak. On BET’s The Game, Melanie “Med School” Davis and Derwin “Ding-Dong” Davis were the original relationship goals. That all crumbled when Derwin decided to cheat with Drew. When Melanie eventually found out, we all felt her pain and despised Derwin because of it. 


“Damn! Damn! Damn!” – Florida Evans

Florida Evans, played by the late Esther Rolle, had to be the rock for her family on many an occasion. But when family patriarch James Evans, Sr. died unexpectedly, Florida could no longer hold it together for everyone else when she realized that that just like that glass bowl, she was broken by the immense loss.



Tiffany “New York” Pollard

The original queen of reality TV,  “New York” really was hilarious. She was brought to our television screens when she was looking for love with rapper Flava Flav, but New York has since made a memorable name for herself. From her over-the-top persona, constant cat fights and one-liners, there is nobody else on television like Tiffany “New York” Pollard. 

A Different World Addresses the Aids Epidemic

Josie Webb, played by Tisha Campbell-Martin, became the face of the AIDS epidemic for many through a memorable episode of A Different World. On this episode, where students were instructed to deliver their own eulogies, Webb shares that unprotected sex and being diagnosed with AIDS would be the cause of her early demise. This memorable episode touched on sexual consent, protective measures and the truth about who and how we can pass on the virus. Not only did Black sitcoms make us laugh, but they also taught us important issues we needed to learn to maneuver throughout life.


“If you want me, earn me!”- Olivia Pope

The fixer herself, Ms. Olivia Pope, could use some help of her own when it comes to choosing men. Nevertheless, Pope, played by Kerry Washington, illustrated just what it meant to be successful yet incomplete and constantly searching for love in the wrong places. In this clip, she boldly expresses her self-worth when she decides she is done playing around in a messy, longstanding love triangle with President Fitzgerald Grant. “If you want me, earn me!” is a powerful quote that resonates with many women who are tired of playing games when it comes to dating.

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