Home » Innovation by Black girls and women in the arts creates possibilities for us all

Innovation by Black girls and women in the arts creates possibilities for us all

by The Grio

(Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

I still remember the day I met Tina Turner at Tower Records as a 5-year-old Black girl. She filled the room with her lovely laugh, big smile and even bigger energy. It was exhilarating to see her, a Black woman artist owning the entire store. I was in awe of the presence of this powerful example of a Black woman artist.

As I got older and my world became bigger, I grew to even more deeply appreciate the power of Black artists and innovators and what they offer to Black people living in a world that is not built for us. This is why I now work to move institutions and donors to invest in the artistic visions, innovation, health, safety, research, brain trust and joy of Black girls and gender-expansive youth. Black Girl Freedom Fund, an initiative of Grantmakers for Girls of Color, is one example of that work. In addition to mobilizing investments, BGFF and the #1Billion4BlackGirls campaign co-host the Black Girl Freedom Week, a weeklong space where Black girls, femmes and gender-expansive youth across the country can see themselves and be celebrated.

The theme of this year’s series of events centers on the artistic vision, activism and innovation of Black girls and gender-expansive youth. From Feb. 13 to Feb. 19, we will gather virtually to spotlight Black women, girls and gender-expansive youth, including award-winning director, writer and producer Gina Prince-Bythewood, who most recently directed the blockbuster hit “The Woman King,” and Leila Mottley, author of the New York Times bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club pick and Booker Prize nominee debut novel “Nightcrawler.”

These luminaries not only light the way for the next generation of Black artists and innovators, but they are the cultural influencers who help us see the full embodiment of Black…

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