Clearly this was the year black women ruled television. Not only did we see fierce black actors in brilliant leading lady roles, but we also saw imperfect characters with depth and relatable human flaws. TIME magazine recently named Sophia Burset from the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black as one of the 11 most influential fictional characters of 2013. And we couldn’t agree more:

The inmate hairstylist (played by Laverne Cox) was a fan-favorite on Orange Is the New Black—not just because of her biting one-liners (“Please is for commissary hoes and Oliver Twist”), but because she’s the most dynamic transgender character in TV history. In the wake of overwhelmingly positive response to Burset, Showtime and E! Canada have both green lit shows about transgender people.

Also gracing the list is Ms. Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington.

We’re looking forward to more multidimensional depictions of black womanhood in 2014.

Who would you add to their list?

Editor’s Note: Grab a copy of our fall/winter issue to read “Black & Out in Hollywood” which highlights five black LGBTQ women trailblazing on screen and behind the scenes — includes exclusive interviews with Laverne Cox, Grey’s Anatomy‘s Janora McDuffie and more.


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