To kick off Black History Month, Cheddar News is shining a light on Black Americans who continue to trailblaze their own paths through lives and careers.
Sherri Shepherd's career spans more than more than two decades, crossing over into several industries. She got her start acting with her earliest credit from a 1995 role on the show Cleghorne, which aired on the WB network. Now, she hosts her own daytime talk show called Sherri on Fox where she looks to inspire young women to follow in her footsteps.
"The fact that at any time, you can turn the channel and see three different women of color leading their own talk show, I don't think the young kids realize how historic that is," Shepherd told Cheddar News.
Speaking to the need for equal representation on screen, she emphasized the importance of young people seeing themselves in the content they're watching so they know they can also achieve similar success.
"I remember I didn't see very many women that looked like me. Stephanie Mills, watching her on the stage when she sang When I Think of Home when she did The Wiz. That was one of the things where I wanted to become an actress, and I've been watching TV all my life. But it was Stephanie Mills, watching her, it was Whoopi Goldberg, because I said 'they look like me,'" Shepherd explained.
She attributed her success to being focused on a vision she had for her career and then setting out to actively take steps that would put her closer to achieving her dreams.