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Luke Cage is back for a second season and this time around, it’s all about the ladies. Alfre Woodard and Gabrielle Dennis are two of the series’ stars and we sat down with them to find out how they feel about the state of Black women in Hollywood.
Gabrielle Dennis says she has certainly noticed the shift since she started acting and is excited by the increase in roles for women of color as well as the growing trend of seeing Black women take charge behind the scenes.
“For me, it has been very noticeable. I have been in Los Angeles for eleven years now and just being on sets, it’s not only in front of the camera, it’s also behind the camera which is amazing,” she says. “The shift from when I first started to know if being able to sit around and congratulate women who look like me or women who look like women in my family.”
She also took time to note the camaraderie she has experienced between Black actresses lately.
“With my peers, I went from a time where we were all picking at the same straw to get a job and now everyone’s eating and everyone is working and everyone is happy and we’re celebrating each other. There really is a movement behind the scenes of support and a sisterhood in Hollywood. That for me is what’s most exciting because I feel like there’s so much further that we’re gonna go with that momentum.”
Alfre Woodard has a slightly different perspective.
“Yes, there’s progress. Progress is the natural order of things. Is it solidified? You have to make that decision every day. That’s why it’s important for more women to be in charge, for more people of color to be in charge so that everybody has access,” she explains.
“It’s like the old people used to say in the South, ‘Freedom ain’t free. You have to fight for it and protect it every day.’ Because we are so vibrant and have such presence, you get the idea that there’s more happening than really is happening.”