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10 Black Women In Hollywood Who Are Making Waves In 2023

10 Black Women In Hollywood Who Are Making Waves In 2023



t’s no news that Black women in Hollywood have faced challenges in their pursuit of success and recognition in the industry. However, it’s also important to point out that the situation has improved in recent years. The industry has become more aware of the need for diversity and inclusion, and there have been efforts to increase the representation of black women on-screen and behind the scenes. This has given rise to more opportunities for us to showcase our talents and tell our own stories.

In addition, black women have also been at the forefront of creating platforms outside traditional Hollywood structures. With the rise of social media and streaming platforms, these ladies have been able to create and distribute their content, bypassing the gatekeepers of the industry. The result is an ever-increasing pool of premium creative efforts by melanin girls that reach a wider audience and retell narratives in the process. 

Check out 10 inspiring black women in Hollywood who continue to make their mark…

#1. Sheryl Lee Ralph

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Sheryl Lee Ralph scored a big win this year when she took to the Super Bowl stage. She performed the Black national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing live at the 2023 Super Bowl before the kickoffs, and the people were mesmerized.

But music isn’t the only talent that Sheryl Lee Ralph is famous for. The star is a highly accomplished actress and activist who has made significant contributions to the entertainment industry. With a career spanning over four decades, Lee Ralph has helped to educate and empower countless individuals, particularly in underserved communities.

#2. Angela Bassett

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A high-value woman in her own right, Angela Bassett is an acclaimed actress and director who has no doubt contributed to the entertainment industry. With a career of about three decades, she has appeared in numerous films, television shows, and stage productions, earning critical acclaim for her powerful performances. Bassett boasts a filmography spanning across genres with titles like How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Soul, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, and most popularly her role in MCU’s Black Panther. Bassett has undoubtedly set a new standard for other black women looking to succeed.

#3. Kim Kimble

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Kim Kimble is a celebrity hairstylist known for her creative and innovative works. She has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, and Zendaya.

One of the ways Kimble made waves in Hollywood is through her work on the hit TV show, Black-ish. She was the lead hairstylist on the show from its inception in 2014, helping to create the iconic looks of the characters. She is also head of the hair department of HBO’s Euphoria. In addition, the 51-year-old has solidified her place in the industry through her brand, Kim Kimble Beauty. The brand includes a line of hair care products, as well as a hair salon in Los Angeles. The celeb hairstylist has also been featured in several TV shows, including her reality series, L.A. Hair, which aired on WE tv from 2012 to 2016.

Kimble’s talent and success in the industry have earned her numerous awards and accolades. In 2019, she was named one of the top 50 most powerful women in entertainment by The Hollywood Reporter, and in 2020, she was nominated for an Emmy award for her work in Black-ish.

#4. Gina Prince-Bythewood

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Gina Prince-Bythewood is a talented writer and director who has made significant contributions to the film industry. With a career spanning over two decades, she has written and directed several critically acclaimed films, including The Woman King, Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, and Beyond the Lights.

Prince-Bythewood has proven that in a male-dominated field, a woman can certainly deliver an impressive script. She is known for her ability to tell compelling stories that explore complex themes and characters. She has also been a trailblazer for women and people of color in the industry, consistently breaking down barriers and paving the way for others.

#5. Viola Davis

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Known for her powerful performances and exceptional talent, Viola Davis has recieved numerous accolades throughout her career, including an Academy Award, Emmy Award, and Tony Award. Whether its How to Get Away with Murder, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, or The Woman King, Davis is unmatched in breathing life into a character, especially a strong, independent one. 

Davis has made significant contributions to the industry by advocating for more diversity and representation in Hollywood. She has spoken out about the lack of opportunities for actors of color, particularly black women, and has been a vocal supporter of inclusion and equality in the industry.

#6. Halle Bailey

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Halle Bailey is a talented actress, singer, and songwriter who has stirred the entertainment industry in recent years. She first gained recognition as a member of the musical duo Chloe x Halle, which she formed with her sister. The pair gained popularity after their cover of Beyoncé’s Pretty Hurts went viral on YouTube.

In 2022, Bailey was cast as Ariel in Disney’s adaptation of The Little Mermaid, which caused controversy because she is a person of color, unlike the original animated character. However, Bailey also received widespread support from fans and industry professionals, who praised her for her talent and representation. She helped portray that black people can be Disney Princesses, too.

#7. Shonda Rhimes

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Shonda Rhimes is a talented television producer, writer, and showrunner who has been making waves in the entertainment industry for decades. She is the creator of some of the most successful television dramas of the past decade, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Her latest masterpiece, Bridgerton also amassed a lot of attention globally.

#8. Marsai Martin

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Marsai Martin is a young actress, producer, and entrepreneur who has made significant waves in the entertainment industry. At just 16, she made history by becoming the youngest executive producer in Hollywood with her film Little, which was released in 2019. With such an impressive career, this star is one of the Black women in Hollywood who stay inspiring women across generations. In addition to her production credits, Martin gained recognition for her acting talent, particularly for her role in the hit TV show Black-ish” She has been nominated for numerous awards, including several NAACP Image Awards and BET Awards, and has won a number of them.

Moreover, Martin has used her platform to advocate for important causes, such as mental health awareness and racial justice. She has also launched her own production company, Genius Productions, which aims to create diverse and empowering content for young people. If you’ve noticed, Martin never misses nail day, and we have her reusable nail brand Mari by Marsai to thank for this.

#9. Camille Friend

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Camille Friend is a highly talented hairstylist and makeup artist who has been making waves in the entertainment industry, particularly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the first Black lead hair stylist for Marvel films, Friend worked on major productions such as Black Panther, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Friend’s work has received critical acclaim with a slew of nominations, including the Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild awards. Her exceptional skills and creative vision have helped bring the characters of the Marvel Universe to life just as her contributions to the industry have been innovative and inspiring. Moreover, Friend has spoken out about the importance of representation behind the scenes, and actively mentored and supported other Black hairstylists and makeup artists.

#10. Mia Neal

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Mia Neal made history at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021 when she became the first Black woman to win the Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, along with her colleague Jamika Wilson, for their work on the film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

As one of the influential Black women in Hollywood, her groundbreaking achievement has highlighted the importance of diversity and representation in the entertainment industry, particularly in creative fields such as hair and makeup. It has also inspired many young people to pursue their dreams and strive for excellence in their chosen professions.

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