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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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