Raven has been in our lives for a looooong time. We fell in love with her oversized personality when she was just 3 years old and landed a starring role on The Cosby Show as Olivia Kendall. Our love for Olivia just grew through the years, and more than 20 years later, we can’t stop talking about how precious she was.
We all cheered when Raven scored her very own Disney Channel show—That’s So Raven—in 2002, where she played a psychic teen whose powers were always landing her in sticky situations. The show immediately began breaking records: At the time, That’s So Raven was the highest-rated show and longest running show in the network’s history. Oh, snap!
Questions surrounding Raven’s sexuality have been at the forefront of conversations for years, but she truly caught Twitter’s attention with her celebratory tweet following the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning California’s same-sex marriage ban.
“I can finally get married!” she tweeted. “Yay government! So proud of you.” Everyone immediately began wondering if this was her way of coming out (She later appeared on Oprah, where she admitted that she was in a relationship with a woman, but she didn’t want to be labeled as gay. That same segment was when…)
Remember that time when Black Twitter exploded when Raven told Oprah that she wasn’t an African-American, she was simply an American? Yeah, we do, too.
During a sit-down interview with Oprah, Raven expressed her disdain for labels. She should’ve stopped there. She went on to say, “I’m an American. I’m not an African-American. I’m an American.” Twitter went crazy, resulting in her issuing a follow-up statement in which she pointed out that she never said she wasn’t Black.
In recent months, a movement to put a woman on the $20 bill has been gaining traction. While potential names like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony have been tossed around, Raven offered up her two cents on who should—and shouldn’t—grace the face of the bill.
“No offense to everyone that’s going to be mad at me for saying this—I don’t like that idea [of Harriet Tubman],” she said. “I think we need to move a little bit forward. Let me just preface that I understand the history. I get it, trust me—I was taught. I’m in that culture.” Her response didn’t anger as much as confuse to no end.
We’re writing this off as a simple slip of the tongue. Hoping to clear the air of her previous comments on her African-American identity, Raven appeared on E! News in March to discuss the results of an Ancestry.com DNA test she took. “I am from every continent in Africa except for one, and I’m also from every continent in Europe except for one,” she proudly stated. We’re just going to say that she didn’t have time that morning to grab her morning coffee and leave it at that!
We were all excited when we heard that Raven would be making cameo appearances on both Empire and Black-ish—and we weren’t disappointed. On Empire, she played Olivia (Really?), Jamal’s ex-wife who pops up with Jamal’s insanely adorable daughter (Spoiler: the baby is really Lucious’). A few weeks later, Raven appeared on BBack-ish, playing Dre’s closeted gay sister Rhonda. You never know where you’re going to get a glimpse of her!
We all became rationally angry when a Univision television host said that Michelle Obama looked “like she’s from the cast of Planet of the Apes,” and we were all subsequently ecstatic when he was fired. But we raised our eyebrows after Raven came to his defense. “I don’t think he was saying it racist,” she said while co-hosting The View. “Some people look like animals…I look like a bird. Can I be mad if somebody calls me Toucan Sam?” Um, yes?
During her run on That’s So Raven, the actress brought some much-needed diversity to the Disney channel. But while we were praising her presence, she was working to conform. She admitted in the recent documentary Light Girls that she felt as though her skin was too light.
“When I had my own show, I used to tan three or four times a week in a tanning bed to get darker,” she said. “One of the lighting guys came up…he goes, ‘Raven, I need you to stop tanning. You’re getting too dark, and we have to re-light the whole entire show.’ I was like, ‘Sorry, I was just trying to be pretty.'” We think you’re beautiful just the way you are, Raven!
When it comes to hair, Raven is the ultimate chameleon. One minute, she’s rockin’ a peach-colored ‘do, and the next minute, she’s sporting some blue locks. Her colorful strands always capture our attention, and we bow down to her bold, fearless choices.
America, meet your newest co-host of The View! The ladies of the daytime talk show made the announcement on-air earlier this morning. Raven, who has frequently appeared as a guest host, will bring some more color to the show and fill the space left vacant by Rosie O’Donnell. We can’t wait to hear what Raven has to say!
When news broke out that a South Carolina school resource officer violently threw a 16-year-old Black girl across a classroom for allegedly “disrupting class,” by not putting her cell phone away, we were all appalled. However, Ms. Raven Symoné had a slightly different opinion.
“The girl was told multiple times to get off of her phone,” Raven said. “There’s no right reason for him to be doing this type of harm… that’s ridiculous. But at the same time, you’ve got follow the rules in school. First of all, why are there cell phones in school? This shouldn’t even be a problem to begin with, and he shouldn’t have been acting like that on top of it.”
Regarding the officer Ben Fields, she said, “He was actually sued for false arrest, excessive force and battery in 2007 after a couple accused him of manhandling them. He has a record and he’s still hired, but at the same time, get off yo phone! You’re in school; get off yo phone! What are you doing on Instagram?”
Well alright now Raven.