In 1995 (twenty years ago!), pop sensation TLC won the Video of the Year Award at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). This was pretty special for a couple of reasons: Not only were T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chili the first all-women group to win the award, they were also the first women of color to do so.
They’re still the only all women-of-color group to win the coveted award. (The next closest group was the “Lady Marmalade” quintet from 2001, whose three out of five members were women of color.)
When the Video of the Year nominations came out earlier this year, star rapper Nicki Minaj rightly called out the nominations for their lack of diversity. (Beyoncé was the only woman of color nominated this year, up for her “7/11” video.) Let’s hope the music industry heeds her call, and ups the diversity quotient in the future. It’s absurd that it’s two decades from TLC’s historic win, and we still have to have this conversation.