KeKe Palmer sat down with Deputy Editor Yolanda Sangweni to talk about the obstacles she faced in Hollywood, diversity, and why she’s no longer seeking validation.

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The Grease Live! star revealed that she got used to casting directors turning her down and saying upsetting things a long time ago when her mother explained “their perception of you doesn’t have to be your perception of yourself.” Palmer creates he own path and way of achieving her goals when Hollywood denies her opportunities and encourages others to do so too.

“If you believe in what you’er doing and you have a message behind it, put it on the Internet, put your web series on YouTube. See what happens to it. Drop your song on Soundcloud. No one can hold you back. The only thing that holds you back is the fear and the thought itself.”

Red Carpet Recap: ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood 2016

Palmer added that people should stop asking Hollywood for permission and do things themselves, put what you want to see out into the world. “If you’re visually seeing something that’s not out there, then that means you’re supposed to create it.”

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