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Seeing Butterflies

More Black women are creating TV shows. These creators credit each other, not Hollywood

Black Women in Entertainment

More Black women are creating TV shows. These creators credit each other, not Hollywood

by Randi Richardson via

Six showrunners — Leigh Davenport, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Tracy Oliver, Janine Sherman Barrois, Robin Thede, Lena Waithe — get candid about sisterhood, industry secrets and what it takes to get a show on the air.

Black women in Hollywood have been working behind-the-scenes in TV writing rooms and on sets for decades. Now, more and more, they’re creating their own hit shows.

Take 2022’s TV lineup as an example. For her breakout hit sitcom “Abbott Elementary,” Quinta Brunson made comedy Emmys history; playwright-turned-showrunner Katori Hall delivered another season of Starz’ “P Valley;” Issa Rae is launching a new HBO Max series seven months after “Insecure” ended — and that’s just a sampling.

In 2011, just 4 percent of scripted broadcast television shows were created by a racial minority; and for cable and digital shows, it was 7 and 6 percent respectively, according to a “Hollywood Diversity” report the University of California at Los Angeles released in 2021. By the end of 2020, racial minorities created 10, 21 and 15 percent of all broadcast, cable and digital shows, respectively. There is no breakout data available for specifically Black women show creators.

“Black women have always been behind the scenes and television, particularly (people) like Debbie Allen, Susan Fales Hill, Yvette Lee…

Read More: More Black women are creating TV shows. These creators credit each other, not Hollywood

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I am a future butterfly at the stage of growth when I am turning into an adult. I am enclosed in a hard case shell formed by love, family, and friends. It is the hardest stage of becoming a black butterfly. You will encounter many hardships only to come out stronger and better than what you went in. At this stage, you are finding out who you truly are and how to love yourself.

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What Does It Mean To Be “Black Butterfly Beautiful”

The image of the butterfly has come to define the many expressions of the feminine black consciousness and for a good reason. The butterfly is the perfect articulation of the exquisite beauty of nature. Whether tiny or large, brightly colored or more subdued, the butterfly’s allure is undeniable. Each one displays its own unique patterns and hues, and no one species outshines any other.

Similarly, there is no one ideal image of a black woman -- each is gorgeous in her right. All African-Americans share a glorious history of struggle and perseverance that has funneled into the modern black renaissance. And, like the graceful butterfly, the awakened black woman exemplifies the dazzling beauty of that cultural evolution.

Flying High

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