'Girlfriends' Cast Reunites for 20th Anniversary: Watch Now! (Exclusive)

Created by Mara Brock Akil , the series followed the lives of four Black women -- Joan (Ross), Maya (Brooks), Lynn (White) and Toni (Jones) -- as they faced “life’s test and triumphs together.” Over the course of eight seasons, they went from dating to divorce, faced families and friends, embraced their differing backgrounds and remained loyal friends no matter what.

Before it was canceled amid the 2008 writers strike, Girlfriends also broke ground by dealing with issues of colorism, domestic violence, and gender politics.

But as Akil previously told ET , it didn’t come without putting up a fight behind the scenes with network executives, especially over letting Ross wear her naturally curly hair or ensuring that the women could talk openly about their sexuality.

“Now, I am meeting a lot of millennial women who grew up on the show and are wearing their hair natural and talking about, ‘I carry condoms.’ That fills me with great joy,” the creator said.

“Mara really challenged our audience at a very early age when no one else was doing that,” Brooks says now, admitting that at times she fought for Maya and the stories that were being told.

In addition to the cast’s surprise reunion, Girlfriends as well as other classic Black sitcoms are also being made available to stream for the first time on Netflix.

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