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Aspiring to Inspire: why we need to see black women on TV

RISING STAR: Scherrikar Bell

SINCE 2011, Scherrikar Bell has had an impressive career run. From appearing in BBC1 soap opera Eastenders and hit romcom Bridget Jones’s Baby, to BBC’s Doctors and Netflix’s Todd Margaret.

It all started with her childhood, where Bell recalled her obsession with movies from the age of six. “I used to reenact old films and movies for my siblings but I never assumed I would go into acting,” she said.

Her career sprang into action in 2011 after she was persuaded to go to an open audition of the West End Play Oh What a Lovely War. At her first attempt of acting, Bell was given the role and has never looked back since.

Seven years in, Bell has a love of performing in front of the camera and wants to prove to young black girls that a career in acting is possible.

She said: “As a child, I was able to relate to the shows on television, I would watch Fresh Prince of Bel Air, My Wife and Kids and Moesha which showed black people doing positive things on TV that steered away from the stereotypical ‘gangster’ role.”

As her career continues to flourish, Scherrikar aims to “inspire young black girls to see a black woman in a positive light.”

She added: “If you’re black and going into an acting field, it’s an even better achievement, even if it is to tick a box. You have to go in there with a mindset to change the conventional narrative.

TV controls everything, from beauty ideals, to power, body image and more. As a black woman shown in the right way, it strengthens the significance of positive black representation.”

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