It goes without saying that we're rooting for everybody Black, but there are a few Black women who we'd love to see get the recognition they deserve. Women like music producer WondaGurl photographer Renell Medrano and others have been killing it for quite some time, and though we appreciate their art, it's time to make sure we're clapping for them for the world to hear in 2021. Some of them may already be on your radar, but if you're looking for some more Black women to STAN, here are a few to add to the list. The Black Girl Magic is real.
No big deal, just a 24-year-old Black woman producer with hits under her belt for Jay-Z, Travis Scott, Rihanna, and Mariah Carey to keep it short. Born Ebony Naomi Oshunrinde, this multitalented force in the industry is racking up accolades and cementing her sound with some of the biggest names in music. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a hip-hop or r&b album in the last few years that doesn't feature a WondaGurl produced track. She is that girl. Few women have been able to break through on the other side of the boards in the way she has, and it's high time that we take her in for the wonder she is.
If you love the NBC hit show This Is Us, you can thank Kay Oyegun. As one of the only Black writers on the show, Oyegun has been holding it down and writing some of the most riveting episodes of TV for the last four years. In its fifth season, Kay is still managing to break hearts with her pen. Her most recent offering, the "Birth Mother," blends the beauty and strength of Black women with the topics of interracial love, drug abuse, and adoption seamlessly. The Pearsons continue to be one of the realest depictions of family life in television history, and Randall and Beth's love story has all the elements of the Black TV couples we know and admire with none of the need to make them seem perfect.
There is no doubt in my mind that having a Black woman of Oyegun's caliber as part of the writing room is why we can't get enough of this show, the depth of the characters or the stories that remind us we are more alike than we are different. May we send her all the love this year.
This one is an all-around baddie. One look at her personal photos, and you'd think she was a model, not one of the hottest fashion and editorial photographers in the game. Her unique style and invigorating eye has made her the go-to photog for some of the most famous artists and brands in the world. Her collaborations with Solange, Mary J. Blige, Meg Thee Stallion, and Issa Rae, among others, is the stuff of visual visionary status. She breaks constructs and takes risks usually only taken by art students unscathed by cultural critique. You forget everything you know about the subject, about beauty, about lines and color when you see a Renell Medrano photo. But what you never forget is having seen it. This genius deserves a round of applause.
As Hollywood still grapples with letting more than a few fresh Black faces into the fold, a presence like Chante Adams is one to behold. She jumped out of the gate as hip-hop pioneer Roxanne Shante in Netflix's Roxanne Roxanne, in which she stood toe to toe with veterans Nia Long and Mahershala Ali and has since delivered a steady platter of performances that say she's here to eat for the long run.
She stunned as Christine Eames in last year's The Photograph and is currently filming Journal for Jordan, where she is cast opposite Michael B. Jordan and is being directed by the legend himself, Denzel Washington. Her silent intensity and immense talent make it impossible to take your eyes off of her whenever she's onscreen. Plus, the girl is a stunner, and we'd love to see her authentic Black girl next door face in beauty campaigns! We have no choice but to stan.
These are just a few of the remarkable Black women flying under the radar in their perspective fields but can we, in the words of the lovely Gabrielle Union, lift them up in the light of goodness and hold them there? Bet.