Considering the flood of Black women creators that are finally getting love in Hollywood, there's a more substantial presence of women both on and off-screen who are pushing the envelope to bring our stories to life. The impact of Black women in the entertainment industry is severely understated. However, today these talented women are still being bold, unapologetic, and compassionately making herstory that's breaking barriers for Black women all over the world.
From directors and writers to producers and filmmakers, here are some of the powerhouse Black women making waves in this male-dominated industry:
Notable work: Little
The 16-year-old actress and producer Marsai Martin is known for making history as the youngest person of her caliber to break into Hollywood. Her most notable role to date is as Diane Johnson on ABC's Black-ish and her film debut starring in her own movie, Little. She's recently made it known that her focus in Hollywood is to support and create projects rooted in Black joy and not trauma.
Notable work: Lovecraft Country, Underground
Misha Green is considered one of the most intentional and insightful storytellers of her generation. She made a huge splash with her WGN show Underground and set the bar even higher with her hit HBO anthology series, Lovecraft Country. As a seasoned creator and showrunner, Green is known to break ratings records and bring innovation to the small screen. She's now set to make her feature directorial debut on the next installment of Tomb Raider.
Notable work: P-Valley
Producer, writer, and P-Valley creator Katori Hall took the entertainment world by storm last year when she gave us all an inside look at the significance behind strip club culture through her critically-acclaimed STARZ show. Not even halfway through the show's first season, Hall's P-Valley nabbed an early season two renewal and continued to open up doors for her. She recently secured an overall deal with Lionsgate Television to develop and support diverse projects for its television arm.
Notable work: Pose, Hollywood
As a trailblazing director, writer, and producer, Janet Mock has been a true advocate of amplifying LGBTQIA stories in mainstream media. In 2018, she introduced her show Pose on FX, and since then, it's become a mainstay in the hearts of millions of viewers. But Mock didn't stop there. As the first trans woman of color to be hired as a writer on a TV series, she continued to push boundaries that made way for the next successful series, Netflix's Hollywood. She's currently gearing up for the premiere of Pose's final season.
Notable work: Little Woods
Writer and director Nia DaCosta is taking over Hollywood one sequel and reboot at a time. The filmmaker was tapped to direct the highly-anticipated Jordan Peele reboot of Candyman and Marvel's sequel to Captain Marvel. The latter achievement made her the first Black woman in history to direct a Marvel film.
Notable work: Queen & Slim, Insecure, Lemonade (Formation)
Melina Matsoukas's impact on the entertainment industry is ingrained in some of our favorite music videos, and her reputation from that propelled her to get into filmmaking. Some of her work includes serving as an executive producer and director on season one of Issa Rae's breakout HBO series, Insecure, and box office hit Queen and Slim.
Notable work: Bigger, 13 Reasons Why
Producer and writer Felischa Marye is an emerging Hollywood talent credited for bringing the hit BET series, Bigger to life. Her goal through her show which just premiered its second season on BET+, is to illustrate realistic representations of Black women's relationships through a millennial lens. Alongside famed producer Will Packer, Marye is on a mission to amplify more Black women in Hollywood.
Notable work: Really Love
Angel Kristi Williams is another emerging film star in the making from West Baltimore, MD. She's been producing short films since 2010 but recently made her feature directorial debut with her movie, Really Love. The film, which she wrote, directed, and produced, premiered worldwide at AFI Fest's Special Presentations last year and immediately lived up to much acclaim.
Notable work: Run the World
Writer, director, and show creator Leigh Davenport has worked in the entertainment industry in various capacities, including writing for Black Girls Rock! and serving as a producer for BET, TV One, and VH1. This year, she's gearing up to unveil her latest creation, Run the World, which tells the story of a group of vibrant Black women living and loving in Harlem, NY. Davenport is also working with esteemed showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser to debut the show.
Notable work: Girls Trip, Little, Barbershop: The Next Cut, Survivor's Remorse, The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl
Tracy Oliver is a name the average person may not be familiar with, but she's had a hand in all of our favorite projects and movies. Oliver, who recently inked an eight-figure overall deal with Apple, is known for being an authentic storyteller whose intention moving forward is to develop diverse and meaningful TV & film projects that advocate for "authentic, impactful, and inspirational storytelling."