Lately, geekdom has been having some interesting, and contentious, new discussions regarding diversity in some of our favorite shows and films. Women of Color have always been in it, because hey! we live on this planet, too, and I just want to give a shout out to some of my favorite WoC, who inspired my Pop Cultural geekiness.
At first, I was going to do a post just on Black women, but I decided I needed to put it up or shut it up, and include all women of color, who have brought and continue to bring their “A” to the game and those who have and will always inspire me to be ” That Weird Black Girl”.
Nichelle Nichols As Uhura, on the Original Star Trek, she wasn’t just a secretary, she was also an engineer. There were plenty of times we watched her fixing her communications station. She was Boss! And been credited with influencing more Black women to go into the sciences, than any other woman on this list, including this astronaut:
When I was ten years old, I thought Nichelle was everything a Black woman should be. Smart, elegant, graceful, beautiful. She taught me that Black women, (that I), have a place in the future. Until Nichelle put her thing down, a lot of us had never been taught that we had a future.
I have it on good authority that little Asian girls look up to the character of Mako Mori, from Pacific Rim, but Rinko makes this list because I loved her character’s backstory, and Mako’s show of character, in fighting for what she wanted, but still respecting her adoptive father’s wishes, played by Idris Elba. Also my niece is totally little girl-crushing on that defiantly, blue streak of hair.
I just like watching her. She never seems to take any of her jobs too seriously, has a quirky sense of humor, and always has a mischievous twinkle in her eye.
Chun Li: From the Streetfighter video game. I always chose this character whenever I played any version of this game. She had some sweet and fun moves. (The movie sucked, though. We try to ignore it.)
Tina Turner As Aunty Entity, she ruled BarterTown, in a dress made of chainmail. Seriously people! CHAINMAIL! She also had a misplaced British accent, a gang of football thugs as henchmen, and some monster trucks, so you can keep your Furiosa, because Tina got there first. (Just kiddin’! I love Furiosa.)
Rutina Wesley The first time I saw Tara, on True Blood, she was giving a convenience store lurker, the very erudite backside of her tongue. Afterwards, she beat up another lady, in the store. I couldn’t help but love her, as I have fond memories, of giving people the business end of my tongue, when I was younger and less diplomatic, (just without the beat downs, though.)
I made the mistake of introducing my Mom to the show, in its last season. Guess who she fell in love with, right off the beat? Guess!
Freema Ageyema: The only Black female companion I’ve ever seen on the show, Dr. Martha Jones, also did a couple of stealth episodes of Torchwood. I’m not a huge fan of Dr. Who, but I’ve watched an episode here and there, and I enjoyed watching Martha and her family on the show.
Naomi Harris: The first time I saw Naomi, she was bludgeoning some guy, with a machete, and getting high on pills and falling in love with Cillian Murphy, (and who wouldn’t?) in 28 Days Later. Then, in Skyfall, she sniped James Bond with a high powered rifle. Naomi always brings it. She is currently Ms. Moneypenny, James’ handler, which should give us plenty of opportunities to watch her snipe at him.)
Nichole Beharrie: I love how the writers gave Abbie Mills so much depth on Sleepy Hollow, without racializing all of her. Not everything about a Black person’s life involves race and the writers are very good to introduce the topic only when its necessary to the plot. She, her friends, and her family are all characters, who just happen to be Black, while dealing with the Supernatural, making Sleepy Hollow unlike any other genre show on television.
Grace Jones: As a teenager, I admired the Hell out of this woman. It didn’t hurt that she dated or slept with every hot male celebrity you could think of, back in the day. From David Bowie and Adam Ant, to Dolph Lundgren. She also gets special merit for being one of the first Black female Egyptian vampires, in the 80s movie, Vamp. She never spoke a word, and was still more terrifying than anybody in Twilight.
Rosario Dawson: As Gail in Sin City, she liked to bite people. She is currently starring as The Night Nurse on Netflix’s Daredevil. I read a few issues of the Night Nurse when I was a little girl, so if my glee at seeing her finally depicted on the TV screen, is baffling to you, there you go.
I will always love Joss Whedon for this one thing. Zoe is totally in love with her husband, tells him she will be the mother of his child one day, despite his doubts, and is a total badass, calmly tucking her Captain’s chopped off ear into her bra, while rescuing her husband from Russian Space Gangsters. Gina has always been The Queen! The Goddess! from Cleopatra 2525 to Hannibal.
This is for every movie she’s ever starred in, even if she does die in all of them. Somebody get her role in a movie that she can survive, please.
A better movie would’ve had Vasquez team up with Ripley, to take down the Alien Queen, after all the male characters had been killed. But this is Hollywood,where only one bad ass woman, per movie, is some kind of law.
All these Women of Color are why I am, and always will be, a total Geekgirl, because like I said before, sometimes Women of Color like to be Heroes, too.