September 28, 2023

Loretta Devine

By Alana M. Williams

There have been many African American performers throughout the years; some more notable than others, but still great, nonetheless. These female performers deserve more recognition than they are given for their outstanding work on the many daunting roles they have to play. From touchy historical roles to sassy old ladies to tiring Broadway performances, black women have to play a lot of slightly to completely insulting roles. Even though many of them have received said recognition, there are also many others that need to be noticed for the complete raw talent. One notable actress who deserves to be more acknowledged is the charismatic, bewitching Loretta Devine.

Loretta was born on August 21, 1949, in Houston, Texas. Her mother, Eunice O’ Neal was a beautician while her father, James Devine worked as a laborer. She grew up in the Acres Homes area of Houston, where her mother was a single mother to six children. There was no further recorded information about her siblings. Her and her spouse, Glen Marshall, also had one child together, James Lawrence Tyler. Loretta, now sixty-nine years old, has a jaw-dropping net worth amount over eight million dollars with her thirty years of performances on stage. Loretta had started this stream of an acting career with her performances in talent shows at her high school.

Loretta was a very active teenager on the pep squad and performed a lot in talent shows at her high school, George Washington Carver High School. She graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Drama in 1971. In 1976, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Brandeis University. Loretta was even initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha, the Epsilon Lambda Chapter.

Loretta has a very deep history with working on Broadway. Her first ever show on Broadway was called Comin’ Uptown and featured Gregory Hines. The actress and singer is mostly recognized for her recurring role as Adele Webber on the Shonda Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series in 2100. The talented actress has also had a role in the series Everybody Hates Chris as Rochelle’s mother. She has also played Cynthia Carmichael Show.

At the end of the day, we should be thankful for women like Loretta Devine in Hollywood for forever expanding the level of diversity in mainstream media. We, as a forever evolving nation, deserve to have all the various groups our country homes represented as we tip-toe further into a more racially diverse America. Women like Loretta need to be represented more heavily and respectfully throughout our media. I, as an African-American or any other minority, women should always be and more often be represented better in our movies, shows, news, cartoons, and social media. Women like Loretta Devine are prime examples of how we should be represented in the media. Women and girls like me deserve a more respectful role model in mainstream media.

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