Dignity in Struggle
Florida Evans lives in the projects, yet sounds as if she’s reciting Shakespeare.
Captions by Natalie Hopkinson
In Coming to America, Her Majesty, Queen Aoleon of Zamunda, oozes power and checks the husband when necessary: “Put a sock in it, Joffe; the boy’s in love!”
Who holds down a law-firm job and has five kids? Clair Huxtable, that’s who. Bows.
Aunt Jemima, the faithful slave who supposedly made great pancakes, was pure fiction — played by the actress Nancy Green, says Micki McElya in Clinging to Mammy. Myth still sells a lot of pancakes.
Generations before Angelina Jolie adopted her rainbow tribe, there was Josephine Baker.
Until you’ve been jailed for trying to get your children into a better school, as Kelley Williams-Bolar has, you don’t deserve the title.
The late-1960s TV series Julia, about a Vietnam War widow, was originally supposed to be called Mama’s Man. Depictions of black-women-led households have gone downhill ever since.
In playing a mom willing to look the other way at impropriety toward her son, Viola Davis did the impossible in Doubt: She stole the scene from Meryl Streep cold.
Marian Wright Edelman won’t rest until all children have opportunities.
Erykah Badu has three children by three different hip-hop all-star fathers. This musician defies convention and lives her art.
Marian Robinson ventures out in D.C. She does her own laundry. When strangers ask if she’s President Obama’s mother-in-law, she just denies it. Love.
Michelle Obama can do the Dougie, too. Enough said.