I’m sure you’ve heard of the latest Twitter trending tropic/challenge/meme called Three Fictional Characters. I’m sure this isn’t any sort of PATRIOT ACT trap [couldn’t be], so I’ve decided to go ahead and volunteer this [potentially incriminating] personal information with the good people of the internet [and the CIA… the whole thing]. I’m sure, very.
Okay, so I’m being extra, but it was too hard to choose + plus it was really fun to look back at some of my favorite characters from television shows that came on when I was growing up. I decided instead of doing just three fictional characters that describe my personality, I would list six – three fictional men and three fictional women.
Kyle Barker [Living Single] was the perfect balance of Classic Man and Hotep Hipster. His locs were hair goals and his wardrobe was pre-fleek. Plus, he was shady AF, but like… so smoov. This man taught me more than I know, and he is the reason why I know as an adult that I don’t have to compromise the rich vibrancy of my culture to be taken seriously as a professional.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t haunted by the Fortune Teller [Carmen the Hip-Hopera], played expertly by a new millennium era Wyclef Jean. Remember when he had to remind Carmen’s hard-headed ass that the Cards Never Lie? We were all rooting for Beyonce, but let’s be real – it didn’t take a psychic to foresee that she wasn’t making it out of this movie alive. Miss Cleo aside, he was probably my first encounter with tarot, and it stuck with me… obviously.
Is it a scam or is it survival? Is it appropriation or is it assimilation? Hell if I know, right? What I do know: it’s a small world, and we’ll never be as separate as we’d probably like to be. Just ask Paul [Six Degrees of Separation], played by a young and versatile [pause/no homo] Will Smith. Fun Fact: I met John Guare, the playwright who originally wrote this piece, a few years ago when I interned at the Dramatist Guild of America. I went to pick up a bunch of boxes from his apartment and he yelled at me for dropping one them. It was awesome.
I always said if I were a character on a sitcom, I’d be the one who is mysteriously written off the show in the final season. Nobody embodied the inundating allure of the black sheep quite like eighties it-girl Lisa Bonet as Denise Huxtable [Cosby Show]. Although she was perhaps the most soft-spoken member of her family, she was also the most… spirited, which is why she is still iconic. Oh, and she was the quintessential hot mess of all her siblings [even Theo], so there’s that.
Maxine Shaw [Living Single] was the first woman I remember seeing on TV who wore her hair in locs. She was a boss ass bitch of lawyer [“Maxine Shaw, Attorney At Law” anyone?], but also more irreverent than I could ever aspire to be, although I do try. She was certifiably crazy, but what black woman living successfully in a nineties kinda world [or 2016] wouldn’t be?
Someone would’ve worked a bad root on the cast of The Craft if they didn’t include at least one black witch in their coven. Rochelle, played by real life spirit worker and Black Don’t Crack ambassador Rachel True, was the OG of what we might now refer to as Black Girl Magic, Brujeria, and/or Beyonce in the majority of Lemonade.
The Cartoon [BONUS]: