Black-ish: Girlfriends Reunite to Talk Intersectional Feminism. Also, a Girlfriends Character Was Originally White?

(L-R): Jill Marie Jones, Golden Brooks, Tracee Ellis Ross and Persia White in “Feminisn’t” episode of Black-ish
Screenshot: ABC (YouTube )

Girlfriends are there through thick and thin—and sometimes even reunite on a successful primetime television show on ABC!

On Tuesday, the much-anticipated Girlfriends reunion debuted on Black-ish’s third episode of the comedy’s sixth season and the topic was feminism. The episode was aptly titled, “Feminisn’t.” In the episode, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross) realizes her women’s activism is totally whitewashed, so she enlists some “black-up” in the form of her three girlfriends, portrayed by Golden Brooks, Persia White and Jill Marie Jones. Yep, that’s right, Joan, Toni, Maya and Lynn are back together!

Black-ish Season 6 Girlfriends Reunion Featurette / ABC (YouTube)

Okay, well, it’s not quite canon (Ross isn’t Joan, she’s Bow), but there were definitely Girlfriends references sprinkled throughout the episode. Plus, there was a delightful William (Reggie Hayes) cameo at the end!

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The episode itself explored white feminist blind spots (i.e. #solidarityisforwhitewomen) and black women’s reluctance to refer to themselves as feminists (with Marsai Martin’s Diane and Jenifer Lewis’ Ruby) since “feminism is for white women.” Plus, the intersection conversation didn’t stop at gender, as the episode also touched on Dre’s (Anthony Anderson) antiquated ideas about women and his eventual revelation that “men are the white people of gender” (I can hear Damon Young saying, “You’re welcome and shit” right now).

As Girlfriends was canceled in 2008, the 2019 reunion was pretty epic and naturally ignited a nostalgic spark in fans. Perhaps there’s a chance for a reviving of the beloved series? Well, Ross hinted at the possibility.

“Well, here’s what I’ll say. [The hashtag] #GirlfriendsNow is what we decided that we’re going to use and we’re going to try and see what happens,” Ross recently told Clarkisha Kent of Entertainment Weekly. “This is an opportunity for people to speak up for the final time and actually band together and make this happen.”

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And since we’re on the topic of revisiting Girlfriends, let’s take it all the way back to the pilot. And I mean, the originally taped pilot. Did y’all know there were two different actresses originally portraying Lynn and Toni. And the woman playing Lynn was basically a Great Value Rachel from Friends?!

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That’s right, Christina Cox and Leslie Silva were originally cast as Lynn and Toni, respectively. The pilot never aired, but the two are credited on IMDb so the revelation is legit! Yeah, that would’ve been an entirely different show. Glad we got what we got.

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Black-ish airs Tuesdays on ABC at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.