How Black women in media and beyond are shaping the future

By Taylor Crumpton, Hello Giggles

Since the start of this country, Black people have transformed their lived experiences into beautiful art that challenges societal and cultural perceptions of what it means to be Black in America. They’ve found light and joy in oppressive spaces through art forms like song and film. Their influential presence is felt throughout the world, ushering cultural change in an industry that has historically silenced their voices for speaking truth to power — as was the case with such legends as Dorothy Dandridge and Eartha Kitt.

During the 2018 BET Awards in June, Strong Black Lead — an initiative spearheaded by Black employees at Netflix — released an ad called “A Great Day in Hollywood,” which invoked the spirit of “A Great Day in Harlem” (a photograph depicting popular jazz musicians of the 1950s). The 47 Black entertainers featured in the Netflix ad inspire future generations of Black creatives to trust their visions, despite the industry standards reinforcing society’s message of unworthiness: “We’re not a genre because there’s no one way to be black. We’re writing while black. Nuanced and complex; resilient and strong.”

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