Today, we are celebrating three black women in the arts who have produced incredible works and made a profound impact on the film and literary worlds. We are inspired by all that these women have accomplished and created, and we hope you check them out.
Maya Angelou was a poet, autobiographer, and activist. She was the first black female director, she was a dancer, a singer, and an actress, but she is best known for her work as a talented writer and civil rights activist. She wrote autobiographies, poems, and essays, and she worked alongside civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Junior and Malcolm X.
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” –Maya Angelou
Toni Morrison was an author, essayist, and professor. Her books explored black identity in America, and she was the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer prize. Her books, including Song of Solomon, Beloved, and The Bluest Eye, among others, were considered major literary successes. Morrison was also a professor at Princeton University, where she taught classes in the humanities and African-American studies.
“We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.” –Toni Morrison
Ava Duvernay is a director, producer, and writer. She was the first black woman to win Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival, to be nominated for a Best Director Golden Globe, and to direct a film nominated for Best Picture Oscar. She is also the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. She directed many well-known films like Selma, 13th, and When They See Us, which are very well regarded for their portrayal of race relations in America.
“If you’re doing something outside of dominant culture, there’s not an easy place for you. You will have to do it yourself.” –Ava Duvernay
These are only three of the many black women who have found great success in the arts. Tomorrow, we look forward to highlighting black women in politics.