African-American Television Writers: Breaking Barriers & Creating History

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Soap Writers Making Scenes: Michele Val Jean, Susan Dansby & Aida Croal
Few know the contributions blacks have made to this cornerstone of daytime television. “General Hospital” writer Michele Val Jean was the first black head writer of a daytime soap, and won four daytime Emmys for her efforts. Award-winning scribe Susan Dansby wrote for “As the World Turns” for a decade. Plus, Aida Croal has been a writer for “One Life To Live” for the past four years. Yet, these black writers are rare in this niche. Could daytime drama producers have rendered their story lines out of touch with the diverse masses by keeping their writers’ room too homogenous, thus contributing to the soap opera’s demise? Only time will tell.

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