For decades, the media's portrayal of Black women relied on stereotypical depictions rooted in enslavement and white supremacy. But these TV moms defied the labels placed on our women, and in turn, they taught us some important life lessons.
Clair Huxtable, played by Phylicia Rashad, was a witty, sharp-tongued, and loving lawyer and mother of five. She didn’t take any mess but always handled any challenges she and her family faced with unmatched grace. Huxtable showed us that you could have it all: a successful career and family life.
Vivian Banks, played by Janet Hubert and then Daphne Maxwell Reid, was everyone’s favorite auntie. Though she lived in a mansion in Bel-Air, she was never out of touch with her people. She tackled obstacles head-on and was never afraid to be her whole self. Aunt Viv taught us the importance of showing up for ourselves just as much as we do everyone else.
Despite how Black women have been portrayed on TV and in film throughout history, these Black TV moms showed us much-needed positive images of Black women. We must intentionally consume media that’s committed to telling authentic stories about our people!