Tyler Perry

How black women are shaking up the comedy world

How black women are shaking up the comedy world

For years, black women in Hollywood have found that the easiest, perhaps the only, path to major stardom is through dramatic roles. From Cicely Tyson to Viola Davis, Halle Berry to Kerry Washington, black women may not have been showered with dramatic leading roles, but they found them.

If they were comic actresses, however, they rarely rose above the role of second banana.

It took decades after stand-up legend Moms Mabley had to make do with the Chitlin’ Circuit and variety-show guest spots for Whoopi Goldberg to become a bona-fide comedic movie star in the ’80s. Since then, the number of black women considered bankable comedic leads by mainstream studios is limited to...

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