Just a few short years ago, the entertainment industry was stifling creatives of color. Now, Black women in powerful positions—from directors’ chairs to C-suites—are presenting fresh narratives and taking their rightful place in the field. As Hollywood catches up to our expertise, we’re showing the world who we really are.
Meet the writers, hair stylists, costume designers, and all around creatives who are setting the standard today.
Ashley Nicole Black
Known For: Writing and acting in A Black Lady Sketch Show and serving as a writer and producer on the second season of Ted Lasso.
Ruth E. Carter
Known for: Being the first African-American to win an Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
Michelle R. Cole
Known for: Receiving eight Emmy nominations for costume design over the span of her 30-year career.
Known for: Casting such projects as All American, Empire, The Perfect Find and On the Come Up.
Known For: Her play Ole White Sugah Daddy is currently being developed into a series with Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions.
Known for: Becoming the first Black woman to win an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, along with Jamika Wilson. They won for their collective work on Ma’ Rainey’s Black Bottom, starring Viola Davis.
Known for: Being tapped to write Marvel’s Blade.
Known for: Earning a Costume Designers Guild Award Nomination for Excellence in Period Film for BlacKkKlansman.
Known for: Becoming one of the first Black women, along with Mia Neal, to take home an Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
Costume Designer Known For: Receiving the Excellence in Sci-Fi / Fantasy Television award for ‘Westworld’ at the 21st Costume Designers Guild Awards.
Hairstylist Known For: Winning a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Contemporary Hairstyling on Black-ish.