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All Voices Matter: diversity on television is inspiring

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In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

So far, 2017 has been one of the greatest years for television and various streaming services-especially those with diverse casts. No matter what service or station someone is watching, there is more diversity on television than ever before.

Among a few of the highlights:

  • The Get Down – a musical drama about life in the Bronx during the 1970s.
  • Dear White People, an adaptation of the movie of the same name, about students living through racial discrimination.
  • Moonlight, a coming-of-age drama following the life of Chiron, a gay black boy in Florida.
  • Get Out, a modern-day horror film about modern-day racism.
  • Sense8 and Luke Cage both of which provide a diverse cast of superheroes who don’t want nor need to fit the common stereotype.

Why is this important? Well, it proves diversity really does sell. People watch shows and find characters that are not so different than them. These characters inspire creativity and hope. It helps people say, “Hey, I’m more than what I think of myself. I can be whoever I want to. I can be just like them.”

In The Get Down, Herizen F. Guardiola plays Mylene Cruz who lives in the depths of the Bronx, yet doesn’t let any of the obstacles stop her from reaching her dream. She is unafraid to speak her mind and finds the light in any situation. However, she also has flaws and accepts them. That’s why she’s one of my favorite characters and inspires me.

Same goes for Michaela Pratt from How to Get Away With Murder. These strong, independent black girls who have their flaws and all have helped me understand that whatever one’s dream is, it’s worth pursuing.

“How can a character inspire? You’re being dramatic.” Except I’m not. Everyone had their one or two fictional role models. Superman, Wonder Woman, Barbie, Belle–there’s much, much more. No one is limited, so who are we to judge them to look to comics or TV shows for a hero they can aspire to become one day?

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All Voices Matter: diversity on television is inspiring