Cree Summer's latest throwback from "A Different World" with actress Charnele Brown is a pleasant reminder of how far television has come since the days when the show featured a controversial story arc concerning Charnelle's character.
From time to time, Cree Summer shares throwback photos from her distant past especially during the days when her career kicked off as one of the stars of “A Different World.”
Cree Summer at a red carpet event for Season 3 of "Better Things". | Photo: Getty Images
Cree’s unmatched role as the quirky Winifred “Freddie” Brooks remains to this day, one of the most iconic Black characters in the history of Black comedy. Looking back, it’s a character she too finds hard to forget judging from her many throwback posts about it.
In her most recent TBT post, she’s joined by her co-star Charnele Brown who played Kim Reese, often known as “the dark-skinned girl” on the show. This was until a story arc about her dating a white guy made big waves.
Back in 2016, Charnele facilitated a cast reunion at Norfolk State University. It was the first time the cast members got together since their show was canceled in 1993
In 1991, Charnele voiced out her frustration over the issues raised against her storyline. ''This black-white thing is ridiculous,'' she told The Chicago Tribune.
After three years on the show, her character began dating a White man played by Andrew Lowry. There was talk then that some actors on the show weren’t too happy about that development. Charnele recalled there were also fans who wrote her and complained about the storyline and she responded by writing back and challenging their closed-mindedness.
Charnele Brown attending the 10th Annual McClaren Children's Hospital Benefit in March 1993. | Photo: Getty Images
But that was then and the industry has evolved since then. Today, both Cree and Charnele are thriving in their respective careers giving value to Black women and interracial relationships. Cree is a voice talent for many animated characters and Charnele owns an acting school in Houston.
As for the possibility of bringing back, “A Different World,” Charnele would be on board if given a chance. “I’d love to do it, I really enjoyed my time on the show,” she revealed in 2014 after show producer Debbie Allen first pitched the idea in 2012.
Cree Summer and Charnelle Brown at the premiere of "Dry White Season" in September 1989. | Photo: Getty Images
Back in 2016, Charnele facilitated a cast reunion at Norfolk State University. It was the first time the cast members got together since their show was canceled in 1993. In attendance were Cree, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy, and Darryl Bell. The event called “It IS A Different World: College Changes EVERYTHING,” introduced the show to the new generation of college students and highlighted its impact to the college setting.
The cast of "A Different World." | Photo: Getty Images
To this day, the show remains timeless, much like the throwback photos that would often grace Cree’s Instagram to the delight of its loyal fans.