'Scandal' and 'Styled': Finally, Balanced Views of Black Women

Horrified by depictions of black women on TV, the Daily Beast's Allison Samuels shunned prime time for years. But she says that two new shows are doing a much better job of representing African-American women.

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Kerry Washington (ABC)

Horrified by depictions of black women on TV, the Daily Beast's Allison Samuels shunned prime time for years. But she says that two new shows are doing a much better job of representing African-American women.

Still, it seems it’s never too late for a change, even in prime-time television. In the last few weeks that change has arrived, for me at least, in the form of two new shows, VH1’s Styled by June and the new Shonda Rhimes drama on ABC, Scandal.

Both are thoughtfully produced and skillfully crafted. And they finally give the TV audience an opportunity to meet a more balanced and layered type of black woman -- minus the bad attitudes, dysfunctional relationships with rappers and ballers, and the usually required girl-on-girl boxing match.

On the embarrassment-free reality show Styled by June, the cameras follow June Ambrose in her life and her job as a stylist to Jay-Z and other top celebrities. Ambrose shines as a worldly woman whose penchant for Hermès bags, silk turbans, and mile-high stilettos never overshadows her deft business skills, compassion, and dedication to helping her clients feel better on the inside and out with as little drama as possible.

Read Allison Samuels' entire piece at the Daily Beast.

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