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On this Listen To Black Women episode, “The New Black Hollywood, Part 2,” cohosts Tiffany Nicole Ervin, Jessie Woo and Taryn Finley welcome musician Kris Kasanova, aka Kas, onto the show to talk about the emergence of diverse roles for Black women in film.

The crew starts listing some of their favorite stars gracing the big screen. Wunmi Mosaku, Lashana Lynch, Courtney Taylor and others come up as the LTBW ladies say they love the range they’re seeing for Black actresses now. Ervin, a huge fan of fantasy and sci-fi, loves the new characters in the Marvel and Lovecraft Country universes. “To see more Black faces in the sci-fi space, the fantasy space, the magic space…it literally makes my spirit bubble up,” says the New Jersey-based visual artist.

“I love seeing the science girls,” says Woo, who recalls that during her childhood, little Black girls weren’t encouraged to go into the sciences. Now, with characters like Shuri of Black Panther, young girls have a bad-ass role model in a new space not seen before. “The more that it’s being shown, the more little Black girls have people to look up to,” says Kas. The “Always Something” singer adds that this shift in roles for Black women also teaches young boys how to support the girls in their lives.
Not only are there more dynamic roles being filled by Black actresses, but the women also note how many incredible performers there are today, like Danielle Deadwyler and Viola Davis, who, within themselves, demonstrate tremendous range.
The LTBW cast touches on other timely subjects like the public being intimidated by seeing genuine Black beauty and power on screen. The more people see it, “The more people want to push it down,” says Finley. They also discuss whether or not they themselves should still watch movies and shows that depict Black stereotypes and how Disney still owes them their princess — not just a remake of a white one, a la Little Mermaid.
They end with a round of “Grown Woman Games,” guessing who said specific famous quotes. Play along and listen to the full episode of Listen To Black Women.
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