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 actresses who are setting the standard today.
A League of Their Own Known for: Winning the Sundance Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance in 2017.
In Treatment Known for: Being one of only two actors to win an Emmy Award in both the comedy and drama categories for the same role.
The Woman King Known for: Stealing scenes in The Underground Railroad and Bruised.
Nine Perfect Strangers Known for: Strong supporting roles in television dramas.
Tab Time, The Chi Known for: Turning cooking tutorials into a recipe for success as a professional actress.
Grand Crew, Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo) Known for: Earning Emmy nominations as the host of Nailed It.
First Wives Club Known For: Netflix greenlit her upcoming scripted series, Survival of the Thickest.
The First Lady, The Woman King Known for: Being the first Black actor to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony Award – the Triple Crown of Acting.
The Harder They Fall, Station Eleven Known for: Delivering unforgettable dramatic performances.
King Richard, 61st Street Known for: Dynamic supporting and lead roles, which have garnered Emmy and SAG Award nominations.
Genius: Aretha, Wicked Known for: Winning Tony, Emmy and Grammy awards for her work in film and theater.
The Card Counter Known for: Comedic acting and stand- up routines, which have earned her a Primetime Emmy and a Grammy.
Master, Black Monday Known For: Signing a first-look deal to develop and produce TV projects for Showtime.
Wicked Known for: Being the first Black woman to portray Glinda in Wicked.
The Harder They Fall Known for: Earning four Primetime Emmy Awards and an Oscar.
The Best Man: The Final Chapters Known for: A film and television career spanning more than three decades.
The Woman King, No Time To Die Known for: Being the first Black woman to play a 007.
BROS, The Perfect Find Known for: Being the first Black trans woman to star in and executive-produce her own reality show in 2021.
Black-ish Known For: Creating production company Genius Entertainment.
Loki Known for: Winning a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Damilola, Our Loved Boy.
Claws Known for: Being a three-time Emmy-nominated actress.
Passing Known for: Films that have garnered Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations.
God’s Country Known for: Winning a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for Crash.
Nope Known for: Being a daytime talk-show host and Emmy Award– winning actress.
WandaVision, The Marvels Known for: Roles that establish Black women’s presence in both fictional worlds and real life.
The Upshaws Known for: Winning a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Show.
Passing Known for: Being an all-around actress who has starred in everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the Creed franchise.
Euphoria Known for: Being the youngest actress to win an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
Taraji P. Henson
Annie Live! Known For: Starring as Shug Avery in the upcoming remake of The Color Purple.
Tracee Ellis Ross
Black-ish Known For: Receiving five Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
9-1-1 Known For: Being the highest paid woman of color in Broadcast television history.