“I remember being a little girl, watching the Oscars, wanting to be, you know, in that TV screen, and not seeing anybody that looked like me. And now I was in charge,” shares Debbie Allen, referencing her historic first as choreographer of Hollywood’s most iconic awards show.
This is just one of many trailblazing moments in her remarkable career the beloved icon shares throughout her episode of TV One’s provocative bio series, Uncensored. Allen wows throughout as she revisits her life and legacy, touching upon her upbringing as one of three children born to a brilliant poet and respected dentist, being Phylicia Rashad’s “annoying little sister,” going through her metamorphosis at Howard University, her incredible dance background and Fame, meeting her husband and leaving her other, and so much more.
“I helped to really define the cultural identity of the show,” she says modestly about her impact helming A Different World. We, of course, know she did a lot more than that. Channeling the excellence of her Howard experience to TV inspired an entire generation of kids back then to go to college and is still inspiring them today. And the bombshell she shares about one of her network notes for the iconic L.A. Riots episode only adds to why she is to be forever revered.
Her 18-year-journey, inspired by a visit to her beloved Howard, to bringing Amistad to the big screen, coupled with her unwavering commitment to her Debbie Allen Dance Academy, makes this Uncensored more like a call to action to be your best self.
“Everybody has a legacy. Not just people who have a million followers on Instagram, but people who nobody really knows. If they make life better for just a few people, that’s so important.” That’s a life lesson that, like Allen herself, never ages.
Uncensored: Debbie Allen premieres Sunday, October 4, at 10 pm ET on TV One.