In 2020, black women are dominating the entertainment industry more than ever — and it’s about time. Throughout history, the media landscape has far too often excluded and limited the opportunities available to black women, and it’s taken way too long for these artists to get the respect and attention they deserve. Inspired by the likes of Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay, and, of course, Oprah, black women in entertainment are achieving new heights and coming together to support their sisters.
In that same spirit, we’d love to shine the spotlight on those who have been often overlooked or might not be on your radar (yet!). From Insecure‘s Issa Rae to Avengers‘ Tessa Thompson, these women aren’t just killing it when it comes to their own careers. They’re making it their business to help pitch, support, and produce content helmed by and featuring other black women, and fighting for more diversity throughout Hollywood and its surrounding industries.
It’s incredible to see these stars’ commitment to ensuring a better future for their peers, and the way they’re using their platform for change is truly inspiring. We’re sure this is only the start for these 16 stars, all of whom have blown us away with their talent, passion, and spotlight-stealing charisma.
These stars are setting themselves up for a huge 2020 and beyond. Find out about the black female voices in entertainment who you need to have on your radar (and your Netflix queue) ASAP.
A version of this article was originally published in February 2019.