Is It Important for Women of Color to See Ourselves on the TV Screen? Absolutely!

As a Black woman who consumes a substantial amount of television, it is invaluable to see images of women and people of color on the small screen.

My flat screen invites my favorite fandoms into my living room and provides an experience that I hope can be both entertaining and fulfilling. However, when it comes to diversity, I have noticed that slowly women and people of color are taking on protagonist roles that we haven’t quite seen before. As a TV viewer, I wouldn’t exactly say that my diversity appetite is fully satiated. In fact, I still hunger for more women who look like me on television. But there are shows that are slowly coming into the fold that are creating characters who look like the people I see walking around my neighborhood every day. Characters who look like people I see at a shopping mall, waiting for my flight at the airport, or riding a NYC subway train.

Racial diversity on television within the last several years has been sparse or relatively nonexistent, depending on which network you elect to watch. Seeing more white faces than faces of color is sadly becoming the status quo. In fact it seems since the ‘80s and 90’s TV shows are actually getting whiter. The monolith of whiteness is both discouraging and dismissive to many non-white fans who want to see images of characters who look like them.

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