Once the 1980's approach, roles played by women of color on film begin to diminish, and television begin to feature well-known actresses such as Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad, and Denise Nicholas. During this time of film-making, many black women coming from backgrounds other than acting begin to venture into film. Whoopi Goldberg originated in comedy but later starred in the featured film “The Color Purple”, along side Oprah Winfrey, who started as a news anchor. Vanessa Williams was the first black Miss America, who later became dethroned, begin starring in films during the eighties. The roles for black women during this decade, were very small in number but the quality was much more profound then the preceding decades.
Black women weren't given a voice until the seventies but even then their voice was muffled by sex and entertainment. Black woman in film has slowly progressed throughout the decades but there's always an occurrence of a demeaning role played by a black woman that back tracks the hard work of other women. Cicely Tyson is one of the women throughout the sixties, seventies, eighties, and up till now that has not compromised her talent for fame or acceptance. So therefore I thought I'd leave you guys with a quote from Roland S,Jefferson,
“The demeaning roles, the humiliating stereotypes, the offensive gestures and sexless, powerless images of black men and women that paraded before movie audiences for more than half a century were the creations of white society and in particular white-controlled Hollywood. The actors and actresses themselves were nothing more than puppets on a string at a time, in a country when there were and still are, few options available to the black community. While I do not condone the actions of these actors and actresses, the pain and discomfort they experienced at the hands of an industry that offered them crumbs, transcends any criticism.”