Five Black Women in Hollywood Who Inspire Me
As an artist, it is important for me to have role models in Hollywood and over the years it became more important to me that these role models be black women. This past year, I have been overwhelmed with feelings of accomplishment that I have felt through watching what black women have achieved. So, I decided to make a list of five women in Hollywood that have inspired me to do better.
Taraji P. Henson- This woman is such a star. Most of the black community, myself included, know her from her role in Baby Boy in 2001. However, after that I can not say I had seen her in any major roles. As I have mentioned before, it is very hard for black women in Hollywood to achieve major roles even if they deserve them. Taraji persisted in attending acting classes and she eventually landed a role in the television series Empire. It seems like she is finally getting everything that she deserves. She is being cast in more endearing film roles and I can’t wait to see what else she does in the future.
Gabrielle Union- Gabrielle is a phenomenal actress and overtime has become one of my favorites. She appeared in movies that I had been watching throughout my life and I hadn’t even realized that she had managed to be an actress whose projects I had seen consistently. From, Bring It On to Daddy’s Little Girls she had always been a strong performer but, it took until her BET show Being Mary Jane for me to appreciate it. She is so much more this this though because she had always spoken up about issues that mattered to her and was honest in the media and with her fans.
Ava DuVernay- Ava has been making some of the most controversial and compelling films of the last decade. She directed the amazing film Selma and the documentary 13th, both films had everyone talking about them. If you have not seen these movies, I encourage you to watch them. They will definitely give insight on important issues that black people face in this country as well as provide an entertaining history lessons. It is important to Ava to tell stories that matter about black people and our experiences and she always does an extraordinary job.
Yara Shahidi- Yara Shahidi is a child star and is currently starring in the TV show Black-ish as a part of the ensemble cast. Not only is she great as an actress but, she is also an activist. She is fearless in standing tall on her views and standing against bullies. She was incredibly vocal in the recent election of Donald Trump and encourages everyone to stay informed, even though she was not able to vote herself. I find this especially inspirational because she is so young and she is still so well educated. I wish I was as enlightened as she is when I was her age!
Issa Rae- Issa Rae has become one of my idols within the last year. She has made her dreams come true on her own. Her career started with Awkward Black Girl which is the most relatable show I have ever watched and has become one of my favorites. She created this show and released it on YouTube with a very small budget. Despite this it has become extremely popular. She now produces shows on her YouTube channel and created a show called Insecure which airs on HBO. Her career is an inspiration to me because she is a quirky and awkward black girl just like me with a dream like me that made it.
These women are stars to me because not only are they fantastic in their fields but, they are gifts to the world as they use their platform to share their positions on important worldly issues. Personally I want to be able to create the stories that I want to create, as well as make an impact on the world by telling stories that matter.