BlackSci-fi.com celebrates Women’s History Month! Join us in our month long celebration of the history makers past, present, and future.
For Women’s History Month we decided to dip into the pop culture well and highlight some of the kick butt women of color who have graced both sci-fi/ horror television and cinema.
Read on and find out about some awesome ladies of sci-fi/ horror cinema and television (in no particular order). ::SPOILER WARNING::
Note: This list is by no means definitive, but just includes some of our favorites. So please add some of your own examples in the Facebook comments below, and join in on the discussion.
Often regarded as the First Lady or Queen of Black Sci-Fi, Nichelle Nichols’ trailblazing stint in the role of Nyota Uhura on the original Star Trek series has made her an icon to all. When Nichols was tempted to leave the show after it’s first season to pursue a career on Broadway, Martin Luther King Jr intervened to get her to stay on due to the impact of her character.
2. Michonne/ Danai Gurira/ The Walking Dead
While The Walking Dead gets a somewhat deserved reputation for less than inspiring portrayals of its black male characters, females fare a bit better with Michonne especially every bit the fierce katana wielding warrior she is in the comics.
3. Sasha/Sonequa Martin/ The Walking Dead
Another Walking Dead character but one unique to the TV series, Sasha’s longevity and character arc also mark her in stark contrast to the portrayals of African-American men on the show- which is particularly noteworthy as much of her arc revolves around the various foibles of two notable black male characters on the show.
4. Zoe Washburne/Gina Torres/Firefly, Serenity
Played by Gina Torres in the TV series Firefly and the movie Serenity, Zoe Washburne is a tough and deadly fighter who serves as the first mate on the spaceship Serenity. Born “Vesselside”, Washburne was seemingly destined for a life of adventure from the very beginning.
Initially a bit player as a Junior FBI Agent on Fringe, Astrid Farnsworth’s character gradually increases in stature as the show progresses, drawing praise for actress Jasika Nicole.
6. Original Cindy/ Valarie Rae Miller/ Dark Angel
Much more than just a mere sidekick, Dark Angel’s Cynthia “Original Cindy” McEachin was Max’s best friend, co-worker and confidante, frequently providing cover for the lead super-soldier turned freedom fighter and otherwise having her girl’s back.
7. Martha Jones/ Freema Agyeman/ Doctor Who
Doctor Who’s first female companion of color (and first primary companion of color period), Martha Jones is a medical student whose adventures with the Doctor, despite their relationship not being exactly “healthy”, serve as a benefit when the character is called back into service on the spin off series Torchwood.
8. Anastasia Dualla/ Kandyse McClure/ Battlestar Galactica
Serving as Communications Officer on the Battlestar Galactica and Executive Officer of the Battlestar Pegasus prior to its destruction, Anastasia Dualla was a lead figure on the recent Battlestar Galactica series ::SPOILER:: whose suicide, after discovering “Earth” was a barren wasteland, served as one of the most dramatic events in the series.
9. Roberta Warren/ Kellita Smith/ Z Nation
An ex-National Guard Lieutenant, Roberta’s military training and background has helped her survive the apocalyptic world of Z Nation and become de-facto leader of the survivor group on their mission to transport “the package” to California.
10. Selena/ Naomie Harris/ 28 Days Later
One of the “Manchester Three” from 28 Days Later, Naomie Harris’ Selena proves that also overseas a strong black woman is a prime asset in a zombie outbreak as she survives both the movie and comic series, serving as the lead protagonist in the latter.
William Satterwhite is the creator of the superhero webcomic Stealth and a freelance designer, internet consultant and illustrator living in Douglasville, Ga. His professional website can be found at www.williamsatterwhite.info.