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Orange is the New Black took Netflix by storm. The chronicle of a white woman’s prison sentence gave us glimpses into the world of women in prison, particularly women of color. From petty thieves to murderers, shows like OITNB remind us of the humanity in everyone.

One of the standout performers on the show is Danielle Brooks, who plays Tasha Jefferson or as she’s more affectionately known, Taystee. That’s likely why the spotlight shines so bright on Brooks this season. Taystee is a rollercoaster of a character whose passion and vulnerability grip you.


Brooks told The Root, “To see her [Taystee] go from someone who was running for president of the jail and saying, ‘Chicken for the people,’ doing Taystee raps, to that person who was really just trying to find the sunshine in the rain, to going to this complex person who is fighting for justice and almost killed a man, held a gun up to someone who had hurt her, but still chose to to be the bigger person; I just find her an incredible example of what we should try to be as human beings.”

We got a chance to chat with Brooks about her stellar performance as Taystee, what it means to see representation shift in the entertainment industry and how she can even stomach playing an incarcerated black woman. Check out the video above for more reasons to love Danielle Brooks.