No Sassy Black Girl Or Token Friend Here: 10 Shows And Movies We Love That Showcase Strong Black Female Leads

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“Girlfriends”: Tracee Ellis Ross

Sure, Joan Clayton had her share of problems: She messed with some messy men at times, she could be pretty neurotic, and her relationship with her parents wasn’t as tight as it could have been. But I think that’s what made Joan so easy to like and relate to. She was just like many single black woman trying to balance work, love, and being something like a motherly figure to three other grown a** women (almost like our friend Khadijah from “Living Single”). We learned a great deal from Joan’s choices, which were always entertaining to watch. Plus, she was a realistic heroine who wasn’t always ready to put a “sucka” in their place (i.e., her friend Maya Wilkes), but she knew how to stick up for herself and hold her ground when necessary.

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