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As of this winter and spring, primetime television from Tuesday through Thursday has belonged to three Black women: Gabrielle Union, Taraji P. Henson, and Kerry Washington. As of this week, Being Mary Jane, Empire, and Scandal are all number one in ratings during their collective time slots. That in itself is a huge compliment. Arguably three of our favorite and most popular actresses in films are dominating the small screen as well (How do they have time for this and movies?). Some may suggest that this is because the actresses have quite a following; but the truth is they’re all very good-or at least incredibly entertaining shows.

For each of these actresses it has been a long time coming before getting their just due. In homage to their running dominance great performances, this week’s Throwback Thursday is dedicated to some of the films that helped establish and solidify these three women in Hollywood.

Films We Loved Before They Were Mary Jane, Cookie, and Olivia Pope

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