Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Intercollegiate Media Studies

Reader 1

Elizabeth Affuso

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This thesis explores the evolution of the Black Best Friend trope in romantic-comedy films ranging from the mid-1990s up until 2023. By examining the progression of Black female characters overtime, I hope to understand ways these films complexity the way Black women are portrayed, and the ways they follow flat to ultimately answer the question, to what extent has Hollywood increased the complexity of characters available to Black actresses with characterizations like the “Black Best Friend” in its romantic comedy films over the past 50 years? To answer this, I chose three films that highlight Black women as best friends which were: Clueless (1995), Bring it on: All or Nothing (2006), and Bottoms (2023). I have found that while the depiction of Black women in general is becoming more complex and diverse as time goes on, there is still a large reliance on the harmful stereotypes of the past. This can result in a skewed depiction of Black women in film, and audiences to assume these stereotypes as reality in society.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.