Since its premiere in 2014, ABC's hit comedy series black-ish has captivated the nation with its thought-provoking commentary about being a modern black family in America. In turn, it has produced a bonafide star in Yara Shahidi, who stars as the Johnsons' eldest child, Zoey. Aside from starring on the show, Shahidi has become a popular role model for young black girls, and has often spoken out about Hollywood's racism, sexism and diversity problems.

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On comparisons between herself and the character of Zoey:

Photo: ABC


Despite the similarities, Shahidi says there are differences between Zoey and her in that aspect.





On being an advocate for diverse representation in Hollywood:



Photo: Emily Berl/New York Times






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As a dynamic force in Hollywood, what keeps her grounded the most: 

"So many times, actors will get bad reps for being full of themselves. Confidence, especially on women and people of color, is misconstrued as being conceited," she said.
Photo: Adrienne Raquel/NY Mag




The black women who positively influenced her the most while growing up: 



I learned from a young age there is no need to define yourself in what you plan to do. She taught me that I had this freedom to do what I wanted to do, as long as it came from a decent place in my heart," she said.


Photo: Essence








Where she sees herself in 10 years:

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Photo: YouTube


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You can catch Yara on black-ish on Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m. ET You can also follow her on Twitter @YaraShahidi and on Instagram @YaraShahidi.

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