Shonda Rhimes

I have against all odds, courageously pioneered the art of writing for people of color as if they were human beings. I’ve bravely gone around just casting parts for actors who were the best ones. I fearlessly faced down ABC when they competely agreed with me that Olivia Pope should be black. And I raised my sword heroically and then put it down again when Paul Lee never fought me about any of my storytelling choices.
— Shonda Rhimes

You can have your reserved feelings towards Shonda Rhimes, but she is a pioneer in her own light. Being the first African American woman to have a Top 10 Network Series, while winning the Lifetime Achievement Award in Television from, Producers Guild of America Award (PGA) , she's making her mark in the television industry and you can't help but to notice. 

courtesy of Google images 

courtesy of Google images 

Shonda Rhimes is best known for producing the notable "Grey's Anatomy," which follows the lives of a group of doctors based in a Seattle hospital. The show is a medical drama, that goes in depth of the personal and professional experiences of the main characters. Rhimes recently has been getting a lot of praise for the hit shows, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder, both really suspenseful programs with strong black female character leads. Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder are significant shows that show women of color in a new way. Rhymes presents us with very well educated and articulated Black women. These women are assertive and independent, they demand respect and when you're in their presence you follow their lead. Their weaknesses are their sensitivity, but they are in control of their emotions and handle their business. They are not the typical stay at home moms, who live off their husbands, they're not single mothers struggling to raise their children, they're not young and naive, nor are they dependent on men. They are women that young African American girls can look up to, they are well dressed, well mannered and do not walk around with bad attitudes. Rhimes stated while accepting her PGA Award, "It's not trailblazing to write the world as it actually is. Women are smart and strong. They are not sex toys or damsels in distress. People of color are not sassy or dangerous or wise. And, believe me, people of color are never anybody's sidekick in real life."

Rhimes was born on January 13, 1970, growing up deeply rooted in academics, like me, Rhimes received her B.A. in English Literature and creative writing. Her first screenplay about a black woman searching for love never made it to the big screen, but the potential she showcased lead her to writing Crossroads in 2004, starring Britney Spears and Zoe Saldana. She has accomplished many things throughout her career and has earned numerous NAACP Image awards for confronting issues on race and sexuality through the television screen. Although she is not a self-proclaimed feminist, she is a womanist by my definition by way of always staying true to herself and breaking the status quo. Womanist are leaders, they are individuals who stand for equality and stand in unity for justice and the progression of African American women. Rhimes is an excellent of example of what hardwork and determination gets you.