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Fresh Black Girls: Debbie Allen!

12 September 2007 6 Comments

Most would say that Debbie Allen is too old to be called ‘fresh’ or a ‘girl’ for that matter, but I think that her age and flyness are exactly what make her so fresh. She has done everything under the sun in the entertainment world while keeping her sanity, staying off of drugs, and actually contributing to the canon of black entertainment in a meaningful and artistic way. How else can I establish her freshness? I could say that she runs her own dance academy and choreographed the Oscars five times, also winning three Emmys for her choreography in Fame. I could also point to the fact that she was the director-producer of A Different World, one of my favorite shows of all time, or that she directed Polly and guest-starred as a psycho personal trainer on The Cosby Show when Claire needed to lose 5 pounds in six days to fit into some dress (one of my favorite episodes). I could simply point to how good she still looks(at 57!). But Thembi boils it down to one thing: Relax, Relate, RELEASE! Thank you so much Debbie Allen, for portraying the ridiculous shrink Dr. Langhorne and creating a catchphrase that I have been cracking myself up with for the last 15 years. I was lucky enough to catch the A Different World X-mas episode where Dr. Langhorne has dinner with Whitley, Dwayne, and the Taylors. Every comedic element of that character, from her cone bra to her wig falling off, is spot-on. Plus, saying “Relax, Relate, Release” to yourself actually works in those manic moments!


  • Nancy said:

    she’s also the occasional miss america judge, helping to crown the first black miss america in 1989 – she and her sis-in-law Phylicia Rashad were judges together…conspiracy, much? and that cosby show episode is my favorite, ever. i often think about claire sucking up those crushed croutons in sheer hunger. fresh black “girl” indeed!

  • hottnikz said:

    I love her!

  • Dara said:

    the only thing better than finding out that debbie and phylicia are sisters-in-law is discovering that they are my long lost aunts, arriving to take me on long trips to the park for improvisational dancing, black lady makeup lessons, and diction lessons.


  • Thembi said:

    Claire Huxtable is actually her REAL sister. I’d pick growing up in that household right after being one of the Wayans!

  • Ehav Ever said:

    I’ve admired how elegant Debbie Allen seems. She reminds me of some of my mothers friends when I was kid.

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