Monday, May 07, 2007
Another installment in my ongoing series of articles on transgender and non-transgender women who have qualities that I admire.
Back during the heyday of The Cosby Show I used to enjoy seeing this adorably precocious three year old who played Olivia Kendall. She went by the name of Raven-Symone and it never failed that when she was in a scene, she was usually stealing it. She was a Ford Model at the ripe old age of 2 with numerous television commercials to her credit when she auditioned for a role in the Cosby produced Ghost Dad. She was too young for that part, but was cast on the Cosby Show instead.
For a while it seemed as though she disappeared off our TV sets once Hanging With Mr. Cooper ended its run on ABC. Just as I began to wonder what was going on in her life she popped up in the 1998 Disney remake of Dr. Doolittle and a 2003 Disney Channel TV show called That's So Raven. I began watching it after Debbie Allen started directing it. As of this writing it is the Disney Channel's highest rated and longest running show. Raven's also blossomed into a very attractive young woman since her Cosby Show days.
Today Raven-Symone Christina Pearman is what Ebony magazine recently described in their March 2007 issue that she was on the cover of as the $400 million dollar woman. She is a multi-talented entertainer who has graced various Disney productions, a six time NAACP Image Award winning actress and has also won two Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards. You can hear her voice on various Disney cartoons such as Kim Possible (one of my guilty pleasures), see her sing and dance in The Cheetah Girls movies and hear her sing on various CDs, including her own solo efforts.
Not bad for someone who's 21 years old.
The thing I'm impressed with about Raven is that she went to public school in the ATL area during that time period. She seems pretty down to earth about much of what she's achieved as well. She's cognizant of being considered a role model and proud that she's one of the few African-American Disney stars. Raven's also proud that she's a 'thick' sista with curves. The fact that she's a young African-American woman doing it in Hollywood makes me even prouder of the little girl I first watched on the tube back in 1989.
She's gradually moving toward doing more serious roles and was one of the many peeps who auditioned for the role of Effie in the Dreamgirls remake. I have no doubts that one of these days Raven will be gracing the silver screens in a movie that doesn't have a Disney logo all over it.