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Bridget Bland of 'Harlem Heights': ‘You Won't See the Angry Black Woman'

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Big things come in small packages, so don't be surprised by how vocal Bridget Bland can be. The Spelman College grad, full-time law student and former entertainment journalist has a penchant for telling it like it is. ESSENCE.com caught up with Bridget to discuss her sudden lack of privacy, whether or not she is "an angry Black woman," and if she's nervous about her mom having full access to every aspect of her life.

ESSENCE.COM: Why have you chosen to live under a microscope?
BRIDGET BLAND:
The main reason is because I worked for MTV for four years as a writer, and as the sole African-American in that department I was responsible for all the urban programming. The images that I saw on television and a lot of the programming I had to watch was so God awful and didn't necessarily interest me. They didn't positively impact or portray the types of Black people I know. This show is different because although you might see some cattiness and drama or us partying, that's countered with positive images like Jason who is a single father raising his child or myself, who is in law school and working full time and mentoring. So you'll get to see many dynamic individuals on this show.

ESSENCE.COM: Dramality television has one formula that always ensures great ratings and that's the stereotypical angry Black woman. Will viewers get a dose of her in any of you?
BLAND: You won't see any angry Black woman representations. Yes, sometimes we are going to be angry because that's a natural emotion, and there will be times that Briana and I are on camera having real conversations because we forget the camera is around. So we might talk about people or make a smart comment, but as far as any stereotypical behavior, you won't see any of that.

ESSENCE.COM: What's the biggest misconception folks have about you?
BLAND: I'm pretty much what you see is what you get. Because I'm a small girl compared to the rest of the ladies, some might think I would fall back in the mix and simply be a wallflower to Briana, who is my cousin, or Brooke, who I worked with at MTV. But I'm just as opinionated as the rest of them and I've known most of the cast from school as well.

ESSENCE.COM: So are you nervous about how you might be perceived?
BLAND: No, because I've been involved since the pilot stage and in front of the camera for three years now. I wasn't ashamed at all during the taping. I can lay back and watch because there's nothing that I did on the show that would make me say, "My mom is going to kill me?!" Of course, I'm human and there will be times that I'm not as poised and put together completely, but overall I think everyone's image is positive. Again, we all have our moments and people can critique us but I just ask them to remember that some of the things we do are part of being a 20-something-year-old. I hope by sharing our lives someone who might be going through a similar situation might be able to relate or it might even be able to help them in some small way.

 Check out "Harlem Heights" tonight on BET at 10 P.M. PT/ET.

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