In the middle of Women’s History Month, EGL is honoring Black women that are shaking up Hollywood, melanin is winning! We have taken some of the big names in Hollywood and some groundbreaking talents to celebrate these women for their phenomenal work in the industry. In 2018, they have changed the game and have continued to open doors in our culture through their craft.

Lena Waithe

Photo of Waithe via W Magazine, Retrieved March 16, 2018.

The Showtime series, The Chi, which premiered in January 2018, has recently become one of the hottest shows on television — thanks to the creator Lena Waithe. The Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and actress has made history through her breakout role on Netflix’s hit series Master of None, which is based on her own experience with coming out to her mother. She became the first Black woman to win an Emmy Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series for her work on Master of None’s Thanksgiving episode.

Tiffany Haddish

Photo of Haddish via Vulture.com, Photo Credit Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images. Retrieved on March 16, 2018.

Tiffany Haddish took the world by storm soon after playing the comical down-for-whatever-girlfriend role as Dina in Girls Trip. The film has made $140 Million at the box office and ever since then we’ve been asking for more of the Queen comedienne. Throughout Haddish’s stand-up career, she strategically has a way of turning her past struggles into comedy. In her Showtime comedy special, Tiffany Haddish: She Ready! From the Hood to Hollywood, she talks about her life growing up in foster care. Also, a mean nickname given to her in elementary school was the inspiration behind the title of her memoir last year. Her book, The Last Black Unicorn, became a New York Times bestseller. She made history as the first Black woman stand-up comedienne to host Saturday Night Live, and she’s also won the Best Supporting Actress Award from New York Film Critics Circle. Recently, she is to be the lead in a Netflix animated comedy series, “#TucaandBertie.” Reportedly, Haddish will play a “cocky-care-free toucan” named “Tuca” that is friends with “Bertie,” a daydreaming singing bird.

Mary J. Blige

Photo of Mary J. Blige via Popsugar, Photo credit Getty/ Steve Granitz. Retrieved March 16, 2018.

Mary J. Blige is the symbol of 90’s R&B. We’ve vibed to her music, we know her struggle, we respect her growth, and we admire her strength. She wears her scars gracefully! Within her transition into acting, she is exploding right into the industry by making Oscar history. Blige is the first ever to be nominated both for Best Supporting Actress and Original Song in a single year. She played an impoverished farmer’s wife in Mudbound, earning her the Oscar nod. The “Real Love” singer has nine Grammy award nominations and her emotionally charged performance has earned her the breakthrough Award at the PSFilmFest.

Yara Shahidi

Photo of Yara Shahidi via Hello Giggles, Photo credit Jeff Kravits/ Film Magic/Getty Images, Retrieved March 16, 2018.

At just 18 years old, Yara Shahidi’s name has been all over the media lately; especially alongside the hashtag #LittlexLittle. The Grown-ish star has taken part in a movement, with a goal to inspire young people by doing 2 billion acts of good by 2030. All participants are to post their own efforts of good on social media. Whether it be an idea, volunteer work, a protest… using the tag #LittlexLittle. Shahidi was nominated at the SAG Awards, with the cast of Black-ish for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.

Issa Rae

Photo of Issa Rae via Award Curcuit.com, Photographer Unknown, Retrieved March 16, 2018.

Everyone is waiting for the next season of Insecure to drop – that’s just how much the actress Issa Rae has gotten us hooked to her series. The HBO series Insecure, (which premiered in 2016) started as a web series, The Mis-adventures of Awkward Black Girl. Who would’ve thought that it would be an HBO hit. That is every writer’s dream! Issa Rae has won two Golden Globe Award nominations in 2017 and 2018.

Letitia Wright

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kelly Taub/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (9376077ar)
Letitia Wright
Calvin Klein show, Portrait Session, Fall Winter 2018, New York Fashion Week, USA – 13 Feb 2018

After an amazing performance in the box office hit movie, Black Panther, Letitia Wright, is now a role-model to young girls. Regarding her role as Shuri, the technically advanced princess of Wakanda, she said to ABC News: “What I would love instead of being a role model, is being someone of inspiration to anyone to go after their goals and their dreams. Then I feel I’ll be satisfied with that.” The teen from London was recently interviewed by Teen Vogue. According to the magazine, she recognizes that 2018 is the transitioning of when black people are depicted as royal powerful forces on screen and not criminals and slaves. The brilliant teen actress is one of the first group of young Black actresses to be a part of the movement.

Ava DuVernay

Photo of Ava DuVernay via InStyle by Karwai Tang Wire Image, Retrieved March 16, 2018

Producer, writer and director Ava DuVernay continues to make a record-breaking name for herself. Shortly after releasing a Disney adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, DuVernay will reportedly direct the impending DC Superhero movie New Gods. She will be the second woman to direct a DC adaption,  the first being Patty Jenkins. She is mostly known for her 2014 Oscar-winning film, Selma and for OWN’s Queen Sugar.

Written By: Taylor Bennett, She’s Our Rock.com

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