“Harlem’s” Grace Byers & Shoniqua Shandai On Accountability in Friendship

“Harlem” is the new series on Prime from “Girl’s Trip” writer Tracy Oliver. It follows the lives of four thirty-ish friends from college living and loving in New York. The series stars Meagan Good as “Camille,” an assistant anthropology professor seeking a tenured position and a possible reunion with her ex, Ian (P Valley’s Tyler Lepley), who returns to Harlem after spending a few years in Europe. Tye (Jerrie Johnson) is the founder of a tech company that’s created a dating app for queer people of color while also navigating what it means to be Black and a lesbian in that space.

Quinn (Empire’s Grace Byers) is an emerging fashion designer whose parents’ money is helping to float her business while balancing a ridiculing mother (Jasmine Guy) and a search for the right relationship fit. She’s also trying to figure out how to get the final piece to this foursome, Angela (newcomer Shoniqua Shandai), off her couch as she attempts to relaunch her failed singing career after being dropped from a label years ago.

During the African-American Film Critics’ Association roundtable, Jill talked with Byers and Shandai about their favorite aspect of the on-screen friendship and asked Oliver about utilizing anthropological theories to set up some of the themes in the episodes.

Shandai loved that the friendship allowed them to be honest and call each other out but still understand it’s from a place of love. Byers said the connections between the real-life cast made the experience much more special. Something she hadn’t necessarily experienced on other shows prior.

Watch below to check out the entire roundtable discussion with all the series stars.