And, there’s more where that came from.

Beth Pearson, This Is Us

Beth Pearson, This Is Us

She is one of those women who strives really hard to balance it all: having a career; being an amazing, fierce, and supportive mom; and being a wonderful wife. I love her sass and humor, and I especially love her vulnerability. I can never stop thinking about that time she broke down after William's death, claiming her own grief and need for comfort. Beth Pearson is the kind of person I really look up to.
anoukvanderz

NBC

Miranda Bailey, Grey’s Anatomy

Miranda Bailey, Grey's Anatomy

Miranda Bailey is an all-powerful goddess of medicine that knows no bounds! Her character also brought attention to the lack of awareness for mental health in the black community. After her diagnosis, she did not back down. She continued to kick butt while managing her OCD. —hannahvictoriag

ABC

Jessica Pearson, Suits

Jessica Pearson, Suits

She's honestly the best TV role model for any black woman going into the corporate world. She manages her private life quietly, commands respect from her employees, and lets everyone know she'll always be the HBIC. Plus, her outfits and confidence are always 10/10! —job16

USA

Heather Davis, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Heather Davis, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

She doesn’t care what people think about her, and she just does what she thinks is best for her. She went from not having a clue about what to do with her life to getting an awesome promotion at work (which she demanded in a respectful and powerful way), becoming a surrogate for a friend who desperately wanted a baby, and becoming more serious with her boyfriend. I really admire her.
emilyd41b36b9de

The CW

Olivia Pope, Scandal

Olivia Pope, Scandal

She is a fearless, brave, and absolutely badass black woman. She never takes no for an answer and will do anything for the people she loves, even though it can get her into trouble. Women like her in television make me proud of my black heritage. —elenabrightstar

ABC

Cookie Lyon, Empire

Cookie Lyon, Empire

Her life and family is messed up, but she handles it so well. Cookie came from nothing, but fought to make something of her life. Plus, Taraji plays her so well.
s4bb472acb

Fox

Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder

Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder

Viola Davis is beyond incredible, and I love a female character that is neither the untouchable pure light of good, nor the epitome of evil. Annalise is complex — she has huge flaws, but also an incredible amount of strength. She has given me so much strength when dealing with dismissive and demeaning men in the work place. If following my gut and advocating for myself means that I'm considered a bitch, I’ll take being a bitch alllll day, every day. —hannamcg

ABC

Issa Dee, Insecure

Issa Dee, Insecure

I love Issa! Every black woman portrayed on TV doesn't have to be strong, sassy, and confident. I love that she's awkward, emotionally immature at times, and a little ratchet. It's refreshingly relatable to watch her make mistakes and grow as a woman. It's like watching my 20s. —Resa Leigh, Facebook

HBO

Raven Baxter, That’s So Raven

Raven Baxter, That's So Raven

She brought issues like eating disorders front and center, and she embraced body positivity, which was hard to find back in the day. —bethanyp4c7450957

Disney

Freddie Brooks, A Different World

Freddie Brooks, A Different World

What I liked about Freddie is that she was always true to herself and didn't have any problem whatsoever with being quirky and unique. She didn't bow to social pressures to change who she was. She always stood up for herself and what she believed to be right. —Matty Cormier, Facebook

Carsey-werner Co / ©Carsey-Werner Co/Courtesy Everett Collection

Rainbow Johnson, Black-ish

Rainbow Johnson, Black-ish

There isn't much representation on TV for biracial girls and she does a great job of showing what it's actually like to be us. (The episode “Being Bow-racial” is AMAZING.) —courtneyp4f7fa31ce

ABC

Mary Jane Paul, Being Mary Jane

Mary Jane Paul, Being Mary Jane

She's a powerful black woman whose career is front and center and in the public eye, unlike a lot of other strong women on TV who work mostly behind-the-scenes. She's classy, sophisticated, and is unashamed of making her career the priority in her life. —shylawatson

BET

Van Keefer, Atlanta

Van Keefer, Atlanta

I hope they develop her character more in Season 2, but every appearance she had in Season 1 just showed what a strong, independent, single-ish mom she is…plus, Zazie Beetz is a QUEEN. —gambinobabydoll

FX

Maeve Millay, Westworld

Maeve Millay, Westworld

She does whatever she wants — breaking every rule in the park — and is just an all-around badass. Even if at the end it's revealed that her choices weren't actually hers, and just part of her programming, that doesn't take away from how cool she is throughout the season. Also, in her final scene she makes her first real choice: choosing to save her daughter even if she knows that their relationship isn't real, proving that emotions are stronger than reason. —hannahcanela

HBO

The cast of Living Single

The cast of Living Single

The whole cast was great, but Synclaire especially. When I was a kid, some boy called me Synclaire as an insult, but now I have no problem with it. She was kind of spacey, but she was the heart of the group.
iwantmypinkshirtback

Fox

Bonnie Bennett, The Vampire Diaries

Bonnie Bennett, The Vampire Diaries

She basically saved everyone’s asses hundreds of time, AND took on literal hellfire. Need I say more? —isabels47690e7dd

The CW

Donna Meagle, Parks and Recreation

Donna Meagle, Parks and Recreation

She knows what she wants and she goes for it. She never puts anybody’s happiness over her own. She is confident and iconic! —erikatheelvenqueen

NBC

Dr. Martha Jones, Doctor Who

Dr. Martha Jones, Doctor Who

She was strong, smart, and independent. Also, when she realized that the Doctor wasn't going to return her feelings, she left him and did what was best for her own happiness. —damnitno

BBC

Jodie Landon, Daria

Jodie Landon, Daria

As minorities, she and her boyfriend were constantly aware of the image they had to portray. And the amount of stress she was under to prove herself over and over again was obvious. Jodie gave me my first understanding of how easy I had it growing up white. —andip4

MTV

Anissa Pierce, Black Lightning

Anissa Pierce, Black Lightning

She’s the first black lesbian superhero on TV. Even though she is literally powerful because she has superpowers, she’s also emotionally powerful. Her city is completely controlled by gangs and crime lords, and she’s always participating and organizing protests and rallies. And once she discovers her powers, she uses them to fight for what’s right. As a queer woman myself, Anissa inspires me a lot. —spacegirlryn

The CW

Poussey Washington, Orange is the New Black

Poussey Washington, Orange is the New Black

She’s hella dynamic — she’s a big soft nerd, but also a total badass. She wasn’t ashamed of who she was, she was open-minded, she was intensely loyal to her friends…even when they weren’t there for her, and she didn’t let anyone or anything stop her shine. She deserved better. —jalissaj

Netflix

Aunt Viv, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Aunt Viv, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

The original Aunt Viv was beautiful, strong, smart AF, and the first really DARK-skinned woman I looked up to. —thelms

NBC

The Pussycats, Riverdale

The Pussycats, Riverdale

When Valerie briefly left the group, Josie was adamant that they replaced her with a woman of color, so it's obvious that they're trying to convey a message with their image. Josie is a firecracker who never lets her troubles at home shatter her confidence, and Valerie dumped Archie the minute he stopped appreciating her. These ladies are fantastic and very underrated!
shylawatson

The CW

Michonne, The Walking Dead

Michonne, The Walking Dead

She is the definition of badass. She doesn't have to worry about guys taking care of her and helping her. She can take care of own damn self. —fobfan2011

AMC

Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show

Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show

A strong, educated, sophisticated, loving, intelligent, beautiful, and inspiring black woman, and a great mother. Seeing someone like this during the '80s was groundbreaking. —jenniferw49056ecf7

NBC

Zoey Johnson, Black-ish and Grown-ish

Zoey Johnson, Black-ish and Grown-ish

Not only is she ridiculously fashionable, but her spin-off has given her more room to grow outside of her cool oldest-sibling persona on Black-ish.
faithisadancerfao

Freeform

Iris West, The Flash

Iris West, The Flash

She’s just great. She plays a strong black female character, she’s a main character on the show, she’s a badass, and she’s an overall role model. —woolyw2

The CW

The cast of Girlfriends

The cast of Girlfriends

This was my Sex and the City growing up. —jamiec46cf21396

The CW

Lisa Landry, Sister, Sister

Lisa Landry, Sister, Sister

She was just the realest. —aliciab4844d195d

ABC

Claire Temple, Luke Cage

Claire Temple, Luke Cage

All those heroes would be completely screwed and/or dead ten times over without her. She’s the most non-super superhero ever, and I love her for it.
julied43c2eec1c

Netflix

Gina Waters, Martin

Gina Waters, Martin

She was my idol growing up! She was fabulous, smart, strong, professional, and didn't take any of Martin's crap. She also loved him ferociously and was down to be silly when she wanted to. —dariav45d8bfc94

Warner Bros / ©Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Co

Dena Jackson, Red Band Society

Dena Jackson, Red Band Society

She was a badass nurse, loyal to her patients, and even got suspended for going out of her way to protect patients who couldn't speak/defend themselves. She was just an all around queen. Bonus points that she was played by Octavia Spencer. —jazzykareana

Fox

Athena Grant, 9-1-1

Athena Grant, 9-1-1

She's a hell of a mom and an equally amazing cop. —fillionfan4002

Fox

Bonnie Carslon, Big Little Lies

Bonnie Carslon, Big Little Lies

She is so stylishly calm in different situations, and also a badass because…you know. —mirayakincic

HBO

Tasha Mack, The Game

Tasha Mack, The Game

She was brilliant, complex, sincere, and a mother who fought for her son. She is an under-appreciated modern-day do-it-all mom! —mariv43f46ae5a

BET

Claudette Wyms, The Shield

Claudette Wyms, The Shield

She was strong, complex, smarter than all of the men, and had insane amounts of wisdom and guts. —jenm47faa724d

FX

Missy, Big Mouth

Missy, Big Mouth

She's smart, eccentric, and not afraid to be herself. —leggerz

Netflix

Taystee Jefferson, Orange is the New Black

Taystee Jefferson, Orange is the New Black

Strong, smart, kind, and a leader. —exlibris00

Netflix

Unique Adams, Glee

Unique Adams, Glee

A transgender diva who can singgggggg! —oreolover848

Fox

Tracey Gordon, Chewing Gum

Tracey Gordon, Chewing Gum

I love her! Michaela Coel is simply brilliant. — Muriel Lovo, Facebook

Netflix

Zoë Washburne, Firefly

Zoë Washburne, Firefly

She has always been one of my favorite characters ever. The amount of strength and patience she exhibits is amazing, as is the love she shows. —leighw405864945

Fox

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.


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