Black-ish star Yara Shahidi has always been outspoken about the importance of representation, especially her black women. Her character “Zoey” manages to be cool, confident, witty, and interesting, without being a stereotype or a caricature.
While accepting an award for her philanthropy at the Points of Life Conference on Volunteering and Service in last month, Shahidi delivered an inspiring speech, in which she pointed just how important She stressed how characters like Zoey can change perceptions and open up new opportunities for people of color.
“As you watch Black-ish, you are witnessing the constant conversation and work we put into the blossoming and development of my character Zoey. She is my activism through art,” Shahidi explained, “She is an angsty, rebellious teen, entrepreneurial at heart, academically astute, and the thread that ties her family together. It is through my character and characters like her that the barriers that racism, ageism, sexism, and other -isms can be broken down.”