*As “Mad Men” prepares to air the final seven episodes of its seventh and final season, Teyonah Parris is looking back on her run as Dawn Chambers, one of just a handful of black characters to be featured on the late 60s-set drama.
“First of all, it was very much a blessing and a great experience to work on ‘Mad Men,’” Parris told EURweb in an exclusive interview. “Dawn was so special to that show, and we got to see a black woman – she’s not representative of all black women in that time – but a black woman in that time period. Her journey.”
Since her arrival two seasons ago to Sterling Cooper & Partners as Don Draper’s secretary, Dawn’s journey has been typical of any African American who finds themselves one of few, if not the only person of color at the j-o-b.
There was the time when Dawn and the other black secretary, Shirley (Sola Bamis), joked in the break room about no one in the office being able to tell them apart.
There was the day when Martin Luther King, Jr. died, and no one in the office knew what to say or do around Dawn. Despite her willingness to continue earning her paycheck, Dawn was strongly urged by office manager Joan (Christina Hendricks) to take some time off and mourn.
The second half of “Mad Men’s” final season is set in January 1969, with characters dealing with the ad agency offices being split between New York and Los Angeles.
While Parris is mum on her character’s story arc for the final stretch, she says it’s characters like Dawn who set the stage for such characters as Missy Vaughn, the accomplished woman she portrays in the STARZ original series “Survivor’s Remorse.”
“Mad Men” returns to AMC in Spring 2015.
Parris can also be seen in the feature film, “Dear White People.”
“Survivor’s Remorse” wrapped its first season on STARZ and has been renewed for a second season.