Black Girl Magic. Trending for the last five years across social media, this anthem is so much more than a hashtag. It’s a celebration that honors black women shattering ceilings and breaking down barriers to create change across culture and communities. It’s transforming the way we speak about and to young black girls while inspiring new generations to take action.

More Than A Movement

Black girls today are raising the bar across all industries and areas of life, from actors to athletes to advocates and even judiciary roles. The Houston metropolitan area, which includes Harris county, is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse metro areas in the country, but there were only 2 black women serving as county judges. Well, all that changed in January when the region elected an additional 17 African-American women to the bench, this brought the total up to a record breaking 19.

While these numbers alone are incredibly empowering, perhaps the best part of this story is the sisterhood that was born through this experience. Originally, each individual was running for their judgeship separately but all that changed after the Harris County Democratic Party primary election. The women realized they were on the cusp of something really big, and really special, so the group banded together, calling themselves “Harris County Black Girl Magic.” All 19 famously posed for a promotional photo in a courtroom at Texas Southern University’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Then, they linked arms and worked collectively toward their goal. And it proved to be pretty motivating for the voting base because these 19 women made history when they were sworn in at the beginning of the year.  

Taking It To the Next Level

And now art is imitating life with a new series that’s set to debut on CBS this fall called All Rise, created by Greg Spottiswood. This courthouse drama follows the chaotic, hopeful and sometimes absurd lives of its judges, prosecutors and public defenders as they work with bailiffs, clerks and the police to seek justice for the people of Los Angeles, amidst a flawed legal process.

While All Rise takes its cue from current events like that in Texas, it also takes the viewer beyond these headlines and allows them to get a glimpse of life as a black woman steps up to the bench for the first time. This theme is beautifully reflected in the show’s main character—a highly regarded and impressive deputy district attorney who doesn’t intend to sit back in her new role, but instead leans in, immediately challenging the expectations of what a judge can be.

A must-watch show, it centers around a newly appointed judge, Lola Carmichael, played by the talented actress, Simone Missick. Known to many as TV’s first black female superhero, Simone played Misty Knight on Marvel’s Luke Cage and has been captivating audiences ever since. Her past credits also include CBS All Access’ Tell Me a Story, Scandal, Wayward Pines and Showtime’s Ray Donovan. She is joined by Hart of Dixie and Daredevil actor, Wilson Bethel as well as Emmy Award winning Marg Helgenberger who you may recognize from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Jessica Camacho (Sleepy Hollow and Last Resort), J. Alex Brinson (Travelers), Lindsay Mendez (Elementary) and Ruthie Ann Miles (The Americans) round out this powerful cast.

All Rise premieres September 23 at 9/8c, so be sure to watch every Monday night to see how a new perspective can help change the conversation—and maybe even make a little Black Girl Magic!

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