Girlfriends is one of the best-loved and accredited Black sitcoms in history. It aired its first episode September 11th, 2000. To celebrate its 20th year anniversary Netflix has made all 8 Seasons of the show available on its platform. With an impressive 172 episodes, there‘s enough content to soothe all of your binging pleasures. The show’s star, Tracee Ellis Ross shared a picture of the “girlfriends” to celebrate the shows deal with Netflix on Instagram. The snap is from the episode where the girl’s campaign for the democratic nominee and presidential hopeful John Kerry in 2004. She captioned the photo, “The Girlfriends back in the day getting their civic engagement on…. supporting Kerry for President in super low rise jeans with little muffin tops because the 2000s — you know, simpler times. Who’s ready for Girlfriends on @netflix? Start streaming at midnight!” (**raises hand**)”
Except for the obvious 2000’s style, it‘s safe to say Ross has aged like a fine wine. So what is the cast up to 20 years later?
Tracee Ellis Ross
Ross played lawyer Joan Carol Clayton in the show and was the glue that brought all the friends together. Ross has continued working as an actress and has 94 million followers on Instagram. She is currently starring in Black-ish as Rainbow Johnson. Ellis shared a heartwarming video on Instagram featuring the cast as they took a look back at 20 years and talked about their favorite episodes. Ross said in the video, “The stories that we told were all centered through our Black womanhood. I feel honored to have spent 8 years of my life being Joan Carol Clayton and to have shared the screen with Golden, Jill, Persia, and Reggie.” She captioned the post, “20 years of Girlfriends. Girlfriends premiered 20 years ago today, and I don’t think any of us had ANY idea it would have the cultural significance and staying power that it has! I can’t wait to rewatch and unpack!”
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Girlfriends premiered 20 years ago today, and I don’t think any of us had ANY idea it would have the cultural significance and staying power that it has! I can’t wait to rewatch and unpack! Thank you to @maraakil for creating the vehicle that helped us grow into the women we’ve become and for this beautiful show we made. And to @therealgolden47, @misspersiawhite, @itsmejillmarie & @reggieh69 for being my “there through thick & thins”! Now streaming on @netflix! Get into it! #girlfriendsonnetflix #girlfriends20 @strongblacklead
Golden Brooks played Maya Wilkes who was Joan’s assistant before becoming an author and housewife. She has continued acting and has appeared in several films and starred on a reality show called Hollywood Divas for 3 Seasons. She has a beautiful daughter named Dakota.
Persia White played Lynn Searcy and was Joan and Toni’s college roommate. White said of the show, “We saw the rainbow of Black women that this world really does have.” In the series, she signs a record deal. White continued acting and starred as Abbey Bennet Wilson in The Vampire Diaries. She actually married her co-star from the show, Joseph Morgan. White calls herself an “Actor, Filmmaker, Artist, Musician, Dreamer and Lover.” on her Instagram bio and has 299 thousand followers. She currently has a short film on Amazon Prime directed by her husband called Carousel.
Jill Marie Jones
Jill Marie Jones is still a “proud” actress and has 298 thousand followers on IG. She played Joan‘s childhood friend Toni and was considered the most popular on the show. She starred opposite Gabrielle Union in The Perfect Holiday in 2007. In Jones’s recent videos it looks like she hasn’t aged at all. According to her IMDB, she’s starring in a TV Series called Delilah that is in pre-production.
Those may be the “Girlfriends” but another major player on the show was Reggie Hayes who played attorney William Dent. He won 3 NAACP image awards for “Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series” for his role. He made a cameo in Black-ish in 2019 and according to IMDB has an action film in pre-production where he will be playing an admiral. He has 16.4 thousand followers on IG and loves sharing selfies.
Mara Brock Akil
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CURRENT MOOD// THANK YOU for ALL of the LOVE because of my @Netflix deal! And for the joy around celebrating the #20thanniversary of #GirlfriendsonNetflix. And thank you @strongblacklead for bringing #TheGameOnNetflix — I binged it while I changed up my look. This is me getting ready to Zoom with #GirlfriendsBiggestFan @cthagod on #TheBreakfastClub. So happy to chop it up with him and @angelayee! There are a lot of challenges facing our world— but thank God for moments and stretches of JOY!! Oh and a pandemic proof glam team! On the beat: Kerry, @kerry_maloufmakeup On The Whip: Marva, @marva_stokes On The Joy: Gratitude! #InTheLandOf #Mara
The shows creator, Mara Brock Akil is a screenwriter and television producer. After Girlfriends, she created its spin-off The Game and created the first drama series for BET- Being Mary Jane. In 2018, she produced Black Lightning for The CW and created Love Is for the Oprah Winfrey Network. “Girlfriends for me was an opportunity to put our Humanity in the bottle of Storytelling and it was an opportunity to show the breadth of who we were.” Akil has been celebrating her deal on Netflix and sharing throwback photos on Instagram.