For the first time ever there is an inkling of the rise of millennial black women in media. It’s our time ladies! We strike at dawn.
|Herizen Guardiola as Mylene in Baz Lurman's The Get Down|
Donald Glover is the quintessential multi-hyphenate. The actor-rapper-comedian-screenwriter has added showrunner to his impressive resume. In his first starring role on television, he introduces us to Zazie Beetz, a New Yorker and professional actress.Up until now Beetz has lent her talents to indie films and theater. Now she plays the co-lead of Vanessa in a comedy with some very dramatic moments. Vanessa's character isn't fully fleshed out currently. But from her natural hair, zany style and exchanges with Earn, the viewer can get a sense of her soulful free-spirit as well as her no-nonsense attitude. Though her development is vague, I presume she might be a teacher but WE GET IT, the show is about the millennial male experience. That doesn't stop me from admiring a character that mirrors me in personality and style. More leading roles for Zazie, please.
|Zazie Beetz at the New York screening of FX's Atlanta.|
|Issa Rae in a still of her forthcoming HBO series "Insecure".|
|Kylie Bunbury in an promotion for her new series Pitch.|
Smollet-Bell's current role of an escaped slave break all molds of what roles millennial black women traditionally endure. She stars on WGN's Underground. Rosalee is a dreamer who breaks free of bondage and finds true herself along the way. Romance is a key theme in the record-setting drama but the love between Aldis Hodge's Noah and Rosalee is not one-sided or male-centered. They are very much co-leads in this series. Jurnee's journey to a satisfying role is a win for every girl who came of age in the 90's, those of us who grew up with her being some of the only characters that resembled us. Waiting for the right roles has paid off for her and I know her star will only rise higher.
Jurnee Smollet-Bell as Underground's heroine Rosalee