Over the years, entertainment, as we know it, has witnessed an almost radical change from the usual. From black and brown characters being cast as the leads in a Regency period drama, to African stories being excellently told to the global audience, black and African people have taken full charge of how their story is told in the media.
At the forefront of this transformation are several exceptional black women who work tirelessly to ensure that there is representation, inclusion and diversity in today’s mainstream storytelling and in this article, we’ll be listing some of them
1. Mo Abudu
Nigeria’s top filmmaker and founder of EbonyLife TV, Mo Abudu is one of the most influential people in the media industry — in Africa and globally.
Starting her career as a Human resources professional, she transitioned to media because she wanted to change how the world saw Africa and realized media was how she could do that.
Her breakout show ‘Moments with Mo’ covered a variety of topics ranging from lifestyle to politics and in 2013, she launched EbonyLife Television, and started her foray into filmmaking.
Mo Abudu has been named by Forbes as one of the world’s most powerful women and by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television. EbonyLife has partnered with global platforms such as Netflix and Sony Pictures to showcase African stories to an international audience.
2. Issa Rae
Actress, writer and producer, Issa Rae started her Youtube series, Mis-adventures of the Awkward Black Girl, to tell real-life stories that represented the real black girl experience.
She wanted to clarify that there were other ‘types’ of black women from the type shown by the mainstream media, and she did that through YouTube because she didn’t want to wait for someone else before she could tell that story.
She also created the HBO comedy series, Insecure, a show that captures the lives of black people in their twenties. Her production company, Hoorae Productions, produced the Emmy-winning show, A Black Lady Sketch Show.
3. Shonda Rhimes
Screenwriter and producer, Shonda Rhimes became well-known for writing racially diverse characters with properly developed storylines at a time when mainstream media typecast black actors to one type of role.
She is the writer of award-winning television shows, Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, and the founder of the production company, Shondaland, showrunner of the Netflix hit show, Bridgerton.
Comedian and TV host of the titular late-night talk show, Ziwe’s satirical way of confronting political issues is not just entertaining but also remarkably refreshing.
Like Issa, before Ziwe had her platform on major national television, she had her content hosted on YouTube, with the series, Baited with Ziwe.
Dressed in bold colors and statement-making outfits, Ziwe has her celebrity guests walking on eggshells as she quite hilariously puts them between a political rock and hard place.