Roo News

The Student News Site of University of Missouri - Kansas City

Roo News

Roo News

The limited series has six episodes on Netflix.
UMKC’s Women’s Center hosts Feminist Film Friday
Renée Ashley, Staff Writer • September 30, 2023

  UMKC Women’s Center hosted a Feminist Film Friday, featuring the first episode of the new Netflix series “Ladies First: A Story of Women...

GUTS soundtrack features 12 songs, rounding out at 39 minutes.
Olivia Rodrigo “GUTS”: A Second Album Triumph that Cements Her Status
Jackson Ogden, RooTV Co-Executive Producer • September 26, 2023

  Forget a sophomore slump; Olivia Rodrigo just put out a sophomore statement.   Rodrigo released her new album earlier this month, titled...

The Kansas City Repertory Theater is located on UMKCs campus and has a variety of shows throughout the year.
UMKC Student Flourishes in “Cyrano de Bergerac”
Aurora Wilson, Lifestyle and Culture Editor • September 25, 2023

Dri Hernaez, a third-year MFA acting candidate at UMKC, didn’t expect to find a career in acting, but KC Rep Spencer Theater helped her grasp...

The Art Garden KC
The Art Garden KC
Aydan Stigler, Photographer • September 20, 2023

A mural of Patrick Mahomes on the side of Ale House.
The Best Places to Catch the Chiefs This Season
Alexandrea Erisman and Adedeji AdebaworeSeptember 15, 2023

Let’s face it, the spot to be on game day is undoubtedly GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, but we can’t all score a ticket inside.   We...

Black History Month Spotlight: Influential child star Raven-Symoné

Raven-Symoné as teen psychic Raven Baxter in “That’s So Raven.” (Disney Channel)

Raven-Symoné has been in the entertainment industry since she was two years old, doing ads for major companies like Cool Whip and Ritz Crackers.

Finding success as a print and commercial model, Symoné turned to the silver screen.

In 1989, she made her television debut on the widely known sitcom “The Cosby Show” as Olivia Kendall, the step-daughter of Denise Huxtable. By this time, Symoné was only four years old. She continued to work on the set until the series wrapped in April of 1992. 

Symoné branched out into music after taking voice lessons from the legendary rapper Missy Elliott. She signed with MCA Records, but the label eventually dropped her due to the low album sales.

Though her music career had not been very successful, she continued to book acting jobs, including her most notable role as Raven Baxter in the sitcom “That’s So Raven,” which first aired on the Disney Channel in 2003.

This was a groundbreaking role. Symoné was the first African American on the channel to star in the leading role of a sitcom.

In the series, she played a teenage psychic who tried to fix everything she saw in her visions. Her character was also a good singer and a fashion designer who designed her entire wardrobe.

“Watching ‘That’s So Raven’ is what inspired me to get into fashion,” said Tyra Johnson, a junior at the University of Central Missouri.

The show became extremely popular, which led to the series being the first sitcom on the channel to surpass 100 episodes. Although the show was funny and entertaining, that did not stray them away from talking about real-world issues.

The show also produced two different spin-off shows, “Cory in the House” and “Raven’s Home.”

While working on her sitcom, Symoné also had a role in “The Cheetah Girls,” a movie about a young vocal group trying to pursue their dreams in New York City.

“I think everyone wanted to be a Cheetah Girl when that movie came out, including me,” said Johnson. She said that because of the film’s diversity, young girls were able to see someone they could relate to and model themselves after.

Symoné continued working even after leaving Disney and had the chance to work alongside comedian Martin Lawerence in “College Road Trip.” She played a determined student trying to find her dream college.

“I did not really know what college was until I saw that movie, and from then on I knew that I was going to college after high school,” said UMKC freshman Mariah Williams.

Through her work in film and television, Symoné provided a relatable role model for young girls that gave them confidence to pursue their dreams in entertainment and exciting non-traditional jobs.

[email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to Roo News

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Missouri - Kansas City. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Roo News

Comments (0)

All Roo News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *