BLACK VOICES
02/06/2014 05:26 pm ET | Updated Feb 06, 2014

Between Ratchet And Bougie: Black Creatives Discuss The State Of Black Women On TV (VIDEO)

The conversation about the images of black women on television is one that is on-going. Not too long ago, Essence magazine released a study where respondents overwhelming agreed that the images of black women in media only "scratch the surface" and there is an "invisible middle" between the so-called ratchet images and the bougie.

Actress Andrea Lewis, who created the "Black Actress" webseries, turned to her peers to dissect this topic in a roundtable discussion. Creatives including Issa Rae, creator of "Awkward Black Girl," and Lena Waithe, producer of "Dear White People," joined Lewis to share their experiences as writers, producers, and actresses working to push for new images of black people to take hold in the mainstream.

"As black women we always have, we are always relegated to one image, one impression, one stereotype and that's the issue. It's really about the public perception," said Rae in one portion of the discussion.

Rae expressed, although she does watch so-called ratchet reality shows like "Love and Hip-Hop," there's another type of black woman that isn't being represented.

"We know when we are watching these shows, 'Okay, I know these women exist, but I know there are a lot of women who aren't like this.' But the general public and mainstream media tends to pigeon hole us. The opportunities are limited as a result of these shows."

Lewis, an actress most known for her role as Hazel in "Degrassi," said it's because of this void she was moved to create content that spoke to women like her.

"Because I'm an actress, my whole life has been about being a black girl. Every part I get is because I'm a black girl, or I don't get a part because I'm a black girl, so my experience has always been so 'black girl, black girl.' I grew up with a majority of white people, and I'm the black girl in the class of all white people," Lewis said.

Numa Perrier, who has a series in development with HBO called "The Couple" and Ashley Blaine Featherson co-creator and co-star of the webseries "Hello Cupid" were also part of the discussion.

Watch what these brilliant women had to say in the video above. Let us know what you think in the comments.

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