1. Marsai MartinSource:Getty
The youngest executive producer in Hollywood to ever produce a movie and the youngest person to get a deal at any studio is now taking her talents to the unscripted series division as a producer. Baddies (working title) will focus on the stories of trailblazing Black women and “…is a fun way of letting people know how dope we are,” said Martin.
Although the 24-year-old Emmy winner shies away from being called an activist, in an interview with Instyle, she acknowledges that despite being in the bleachers and not on the field, the actress does what she can to help. For her cover shoot, Zendaya only wore Black designer brands and was styled and shot by Black professionals.
“Because at the end of the day, I’m just an actress, you know? And I don’t pretend to be anything other than that,” she said. “If I don’t know something, then I ask people who are actually on the front lines doing the work.”
3. Tyler MitchellSource:Getty
“When she sat down for me there was immediately the kind of comfort level you’d have with a friend, which was quite unexpected,” said the 25-year-old photographer to Vogue. “You’d imagine someone as famous as Beyoncé to be protective of her image, but she was really an open book—and that’s exactly what you want as a photographer.”
Mitchell is amongst the youngest photographers to have shot the cover of Vogue and to add to this accomplishment…it just so happened to be for Beyoncé.
4. Amandla StenbergSource:Getty
As TIME Magazine’s 2018 Next Generation Leader, Stenberg has been using her voice to speak on human rights and female empowerment. The 21-year-old told the New York Times, that the events that followed the killing of Michael Brown helped ignite her activism; “Recognizing those events for what they were and seeing everyone make the choice to stand up against it completely informed what I cared about and what I felt my point was as an artist,” she said. “It made me feel like I could do something, or, at least try to inform people.”
5. Yara ShahidiSource:Getty
It’s no surprise that the granddaughter of a Black Panther member is as philanthropic as they come. From the 20-year-old’s Eighteen x 18 voting initiative to help increase voter turnout to her mentorship program, Yara’s Club, the actress is making her mark in the industry.
The 22-year-old singer launched The Great Khalid Foundation to foster “an atmosphere of support and freedom for kids to dream BIG!” By bridging education and music, the foundation hopes to positively impact social change for children, families, and communities.
7. Mari Copeny
The 13-year-old Flint, Michigan native has been fighting for clean water in her community since 2016 when she wrote the former President Barack Obama a letter challenging him to visit her hometown and see the crisis in his own eyes. The letter received national attention but she didn’t stop there. Known as “Little Miss Flint”, she has since made her fight for clean water on a national scale by helping other communities deal with toxic water.
8. Indya MooreSource:Getty
“Indya is, by nature, a really inquisitive person and someone who genuinely wants to see the world be better,” Steven Canals, the co-creator of Pose, told Variety. Although the 25-year-old’s activism started prior to the pandemic, due to season three delayed indefinitely, they’re using their free time to distribute donations to people with disabilities, sex workers, and trans people of color.
9. Naomi OsakaSource:Getty
The 22-year-old 3x Grand Slam singles champion has been both vocal and non-verbal in her support for the Black Lives Matter movement. During the second US Open Title, she arrived at all seven matches wearing seven masks with the names of Black people killed at the hands of racial injustice.