Eboni K Williams is making history as the first Black woman to join the cast of The Housewives of New York reality TV series. The Bravo franchise recently diversified their cast by adding Garcelle Beauvais and Crystal Kung Minkoff to the Beverly Hills group; and now they’re stepping it up a notch by adding lawyer, and ex-FOX news host Eboni K. Williams to the cast of feisty, rich women who run the high society life of New York City.
Meshing with this group of women may seem challenging for some, but for Eboni it’s just another day in life’s playground. “You can look at any of my work; you can look at my work at Fox News; you can look at my work from State of the Culture; and you can look at my work on Housewives; and I what I’m proud of, but depending on the nature of the audience can be puzzling, is people are really used to people adapting to platforms. I don’t do that,” Eboni said in an exclusive interview with HB.
“I show up with my exact sense of self, which I’m extremely clear about, because you have to be in this business particularly as a Black woman. And the platform can pretty much adjust to me or not and I’m okay either way.”
New York City is one of the most diverse places to live. As progressive as the world is becoming, New York has always been considered an inclusive melting pot that represents one of each culture worldwide. Despite the diversity, Eboni’s integration into the cast brought up a few challenges.
“I am very conscious Black woman that walks into my consciousness further and further every day. I have a Bachelors Degree in Black Studies. I feel very personally and spiritually called to the liberation of Black people and I’m very insistent on radical truth telling to make that happen. You take all of those value systems that I have, and it can create a challenging dynamic when incorporated with a group of White women,” Eboni explained.
Acknowledging that all women, no matter their race, have different levels of racial consciousness, Eboni thinks some concepts have been lost on a few of her cast mates. “This particular group of White women, as evidence from the recent episodes, don’t have a lot of race consciousness at all,” she said.
“That’s contributing to some of the challenges that we’re experiencing as a friend group but I would say stay tuned because there’s a whole lot more that we experience together as a group. A lot more conversations. Another upcoming cast trip where I would say there’s some kind of radical breakthrough of sorts that does take place,” she continued.
Despite the challenges, Eboni made a personal commitment to forge authentic relationships with each of her cast mates. “My assignment to myself was to be totally committed to my authenticity and to the best of my ability represent the beauty of Black womanhood and friendship. [I wanted to] go on this really authentic wholehearted journey to have authentic connections with these women that’s not rooted in any kind of mandate to “make friends” for the sake of the show. I don’t do that. I don’t give a damn about that,” she exclaimed.
“Whatever relationships me and these women were going to have, which I was really excited about developing, was going to just be pure. Some are deeper than others, but they all are extremely authentic and and very pure.”
Eboni is successfully and stylishly navigating through the road blocks that have presented itself while filming the hit TV show. If there’s one thing she has in common with her cast mates, its her love for fashion. “I think my style inspiration is rooted in the themes of simplicity, and femininity. Kind of old Hollywood glamour. I look to people like Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, and Diahann Carroll as style icons,” she said.
“I grew up in pageantry, so I think that’s where a lot of the glamour and hyper feminism comes from. But I’ve also had a prolific career in law and journalism, where I think a lot of the clean lines and solid colors comes from.”
Some of Eboni’s favorite RHONY looks include a gold sequins Balmain cocktail dress, and the pink and gold Gucci ensemble, as seen on Saweetie in the Best Friend music video.
Bravo knew exactly what they were doing when they introduced a strong Black woman like Eboni K. Williams to the RHONY cast. Her successful career and zest for life offers a needed balance to the group of women. I’m excited to see what she brings to the rest of the season. You can keep up with Eboni and the other Housewives cast every Tuesday at 8pm on Bravo.