"When I came along, my mom said, 'You should be a doctor. That's the next step,'" Taylor recalled. (She was inspired to pursue ER medicine after her father, Dwight Taylor, was among the first bystanders shot in the 1992 Los Angeles riots and was taken to a hospital without a trauma center, where he died. He was 42.)
For daughter Hana, Taylor said, "Doc McStuffins" is reinforcement of what mom has accomplished.
"I see her engage and play with her toys (like a doctor) because it's normal," Taylor said. "It's even more awesome when people ask her, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' and she says, 'A doctor.'"
"Doc McStuffins," which is produced for children ages 2 to 7 by Ireland-based Brown Bag Films and airs on the Disney Channel and on the new 24-hour Disney Junior channel, recently was renewed for its second season. Doc is voiced by Kiara Muhammad, with Loretta Devine in the cast as a smart plush hippo named Hallie.
Taylor, whose family with husband William Schlitz also includes daughter Haley, 9, and son Ian, 6, wants even more from children's TV. She sees too few characters of color in starring roles and too many black characters who aspire to entertainment, sports or fashion industry success, not education and a career that benefits others.
Children need to see an alternate to LeBron and Beyonce, she said: "There's not enough imagery on television to show kids and their parents there are other paths to follow."
EDITOR'S NOTE — Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber(at)ap.org.
Dr. Myiesha Taylor: http://www.coilyembrace.com
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