Celebrating 20 of 2017’s Black Women in Media and Entertainment Movers and Shakers!

Let’s just say, 2017 was a #BlackGirlMagic year! As this year comes to an end, its only right we celebrate the women of color who’ve showed out and showed OFF!


1. Rihanna

2017 was a big year for Rihanna as she launched Fenty Beauty Cosmetics, which was featured on TIME’s Best Inventions of 2017 and named Innovation of the Year.


2. Cardi B

This Bronx beauty had 2017 in the palm of her hands. Securing the #1 spot on Billboards for her hit, Bodak Yellow, releasing an album, and getting engaged to rapper, Offset.


3. Issa Rae

Issa Rae is an actress, writer, director, producer and web series creator; best known for producing and starring in the HBO hit series, Insecure. She’s also known for being so transparent and unapologetic this year when she so confidently announced that she was “Rooting for Everybody Black,” at the 2017 Emmy Awards.



4. Tiffany Haddish

2017 was certainly the year of Tiffany Haddish. The round-the-way Compton native had a break-out year with the success of film ‘Girls Trip,‘ she became the first African-American female comedian to host SNL and has just released her book ‘The Last Black Unicorn,’ already on its way to becoming a NY Times Bestseller.



5. Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes is a television producer, screenwriter, and author; best known for TGIT featuring Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder.  Earlier this year, Netflix also signed Rhimes to a multi-year production deal, ending a 15-year relationship with ABC Studios that yielded hits from “Grey’s Anatomy” to “Scandal.”


6. Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid has become the first woman of color and the oldest artist ever to win the Turner Prize, Britain’s most prestigious art award.


7. Mona Scott Young

Mona Scott-Young is a media mogul, television producer, executive producer and entrepreneur. She is best known as the CEO of the multi-media entertainment company Monami Entertainment, producing the VH1 reality television franchise Love & Hip Hop. This year, Scott-Young added a new docu-series on Bravo, “Xscape Still Kickin It”.



8. Teyana Taylor

Teyana Taylor is an artist and actress who has just added Reality TV Star to her bio! Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert are getting their own VH1 reality TV series “Teyana and Iman,” to be released in February 2018.

9. SZA
SZA, also known as 2017’s Breakout R&B star, released her debut album, CTRL earlier this year, which led to more blessings on blessings! Time magazine ranked the album, “Best album of the Year.” SZA announced a 44-city sold-out tour, racked up a ton of Grammy nominations, being the most nominated female artist at the 2018 Grammy’s, and performed on SNL, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon three times!


10. Lil Mama

Lil Mama made moves this year by starring in the television movie, When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, forcing a full change in her brand. Lil Mama made strives to separate Lil Mama the artist and Niatia Kirkland the actress. Check out our exclusive feature and interview with the actress and musician back in October 2017, during her 28th birthday celebration.


11. Dia Simms

In May of 2017, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs named Dia Simms, President of Combs Enterprises. In her new role, Simms will oversee business activities across Combs’ companies and investments and will work with him to develop their financial and operational growth.


12. Elaine Welteroth

Condé Nast has named Elaine Welteroth editor in chief of Teen Vogue. As part of her job, Welteroth is charged with expanding Teen Vogue’s presence through new consumer experiences and products. 

lena_waithe_emmy_win13. Lena Waithe

Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing and was named Artist of the Year by Out Magazine.


14. Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross is an American actress, model, comedian, and television host. Tracee won a Golden Globe for her breakout performance as ‘Bow’ on Blackish, launched a clothing line with JC Penney, and recited a notable speech at Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit.


15. Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is known for producing and directing Selma and 13th and the OWN drama series Queen Sugar will receive the Visionary Award from the Producers Guild at the 29th annual PGA Awards on January 20 at the Beverly Hilton.


16. Bozoma Saint John

Bozoma Saint John was hired as Chief Brand Officer for Uber, tasked with fixing Uber’s “image.”


17. Luvvie Ajayi

Luvvie Ajayi is a Nigerian author, speaker, and digital strategist. Ajayi’s first book, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual was a New York Times best-seller.



18. Remy Ma
Remy Ma had some of the biggest wins of 2017. After winning the BET Award for Best Female Artist, performing at Hot 97’s Summer Jam, Remy is currently working and promoting her latest project, “Seven Winters, Six Summers.”
19. Gabrielle Union
Another Woman of Color who had an exceptional year is Gabrielle Union.  Gabrielle started this year with the launch of her Hair-Care Brand, Flawless by Gabrielle Union. Months later, Gabrielle announced a partnership with New York and Company In October, Union released her first book, a memoir, a New York Times Bestseller, We’re Going to Need More Wine.
20. Dee Rees
Diandrea “Dee” Rees is an American screenwriter and director. She is known for her feature films Pariah, Emmy Award-winning Bessie, and Mudbound. Mudbound premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2017, and was released on Netflix and in limited release on November 17, 2017.

May 2018 bring more success, more blessings and more life to each and every woman of color reading this.

Here’s to winning!

(Images: Public Figures’ Official Social Media Handles and Website)


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