home
WIMN’s Voices: A Group Blog on Women, Media, AND…

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn is an award-winning journalist specializing in entertainment, lifestyle and culture issues. She is a regular contributor to The Associated Press and Emmy, the official magazine of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Her work is featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Essence, BlackVoices.com...

Read Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn's full biography
Read all posts by Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn


Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn's Blog Introduction

Women, Media, AND... African Americans in Entertainment

Alfre Woodard moved to Wysteria Lane and black women on both sides of the coast applauded that an African American woman had made it into the posh, wacky neighborhood on television’s hottest nighttime soap drama.

It was the same reaction over twenty years ago when Diahann Carroll arrived in big money Denver in the third season of Dynasty, and in the 1990s when the story of three sisters from Chicago made if from the big screen to a five-season Showtime series, and four sexy L.A. girlfriends began gracing the airwaves—even if it was on UPN.

The fact is, African American women, as indeed most women of color, want to see their images represented on television, still the most powerful and influential of all media. American television has long offered a validation of images by bringing culture to the mainstream. Without it we, quite frankly, don’t exist in the conscious lexicon of society. Which is why it is important is important to have women who not only represent these images, but who work behind the scenes to promote and control the telling of stories about black women.

This blog will take a look at the images of black women from America and throughout the African diaspora, providing commentary and analysis on issues and trends involving black women in primetime and daytime television; from comedy to drama, reality to animation. (And as an equal opportunity blog, there will be not discrimination against men or those of other ethnic groups who are doing their part to promote black women and their images.)

Further, the blog will feature in-depth interviews with black women inside the television business—from network executives to actors, from producers, writers and directors and below-the-line crew to those struggling to make it in by any means necessary. Although much has changed for since 1950’s Beulah, when Ethel Waters debuted as the first African American sitcom star, black women are still looking for signs of progress. And any will do. “If we can be as mediocre on television and in film as Caucasian people and still keep getting hired just to have a career that’s progress,” said Woodard, recently while noting of her role on Desperate Housewives. So perhaps if we can be as dysfunctional and weird as the dominate culture perhaps we have at least arrived in kitchdom.


Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn's Biography

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn is an award-winning journalist specializing in entertainment, lifestyle and culture issues. She is a regular contributor to The Associated Press and Emmy, the official magazine of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Her work is featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Essence and other publications in both the U.S. and Canada. As a former entertainment columnist for Black Voices online, Janice was a weekly pop culture commentator on National Public Radio and continues to guest on numerous “think” radio shows throughout the country.

A native and current resident of Los Angeles, Janice earned her B.A. in Communications from Loyola Marymount University and is currently working toward a Master of Professional Writing degree in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Southern California.


Return to Top | Read all posts by Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn