2017 has been an interesting year. Despite the ups and downs, these women have given us some amazing and memorable works of art. They have changed they way I look at life., given us something to talk about and given us hope for the future of television and film. So with a few hours to spare, I give you my #BestOf2017 list of seven sistas who did the damn thing in 2017. Enjoy!
Ava DuVernay, director of Jay-Z’s “Family Feud” videoAva DuVernay ended 2017 on the highest note. She damn near broke the internet when the video she directed for Jay-Z ‘s “Family Feud” dropped. The
video short film features a star-studded lineup and paints an amazing future for America. In 8 minutes Ava built a world where women not only have a seat at the table, they run it. It is EPIC!
2017 belongs to Tiffany Haddish. From her breakout role in Girls Trip to her historic turn as host of Saturday Night Live, everything she does turns to gold. Additionally, she helmed her first stand-up special, She Ready, for Showtime and found time to release her book, The Last Black Unicorn. And she is JUST getting started. Tiffany’s 2018 is looking bright as well.
Bianca Lawson has been killing it onscreen for YEARS. But playing Darla on Queen Sugar has given her fans a chance to see a different side of her acting talent. Darla, a former drug-addicted sex worker is unlike any character we’ve seen on television in the past. Supported by amazing writing, Bianca embodies strength, vulnerability, and hope in her portrayal of Darla. I can’t wait to see where the story and the character go next.
Stella Meghie, director of Everything, Everything
Stella Meghie made #BlackWomenDirect headlines in 2017. She is the only black female director at the helm of a studio-backed film released in 2017. This statistic is even more impactful because Everything, Everything is only Stella’s second feature film. Boasting an amazing cast that includes Amandla Stenburg and Anika Noni Rose, the film is a charming and delightful story of young love.
Master on None was released this year. The highlight of the season was “Thanksgiving,” an episode co-written by series regular Lena Waithe. The episode centers around Denise’s coming out story. Hands down, it is one of the most well-written episodes of television this year. This sentiment was cosigned by the Academy when the Lena and Dev Patel won the Emmy for Comedy Writing, making her the first black woman to receive the honor. If you missed it, you can check out her AMAZING acceptance speech here.
Susan Kelechi Watson as “Beth Pearson” on This Is Us
Susan Kelechi Watson is a joy to watch onscreen. Let’s keep it real. The show is called This is Us, but the “us” we are MOST interested in are Beth and Randall. And to be realer than real, Beth Pearson, played by Susan is the MVP of the Pearson family. Beth is the voice of reason, the keeper of clarity, and the one that we can ALWAYS count on to keep it real. And we have come to count on Susan to deliver masterful performances each week. She is us.
DeWanda Wise as “Nola Darling” on She’s Gotta Have It and “Shameeka Campbell” on Shots Fired
DeWanda Wise had an AMAZING 2017. She starred in two critically acclaimed shows, Shots Fired and She’s Gotta Have It. These characters could not be more different. One is a single mother navigating the grief of losing a child to police violence and the other is a young, sex-positive single girl navigating life in New York. DeWanda portrays each masterfully, convincingly, and with haunting sense of presence and truth. She is simply a pleasure to watch.