Self-made billionaire, Oprah Gail Winfrey was born in a rural town of Kosciusko, Mississippi and moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1984 to work as an anchor on A.M. Chicago. A year later the program was renamed to the Oprah Winfrey Show and from that moment there has been no limit to what Miss Winfrey would do! She is the owner of her OWN network, and has an exhibit at The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History. It’s safe to say that Miss Winfrey is the definition of success.
Becoming the first African American in history to run a major network, Dungey broke new ground, lifting ABC to No. 3 in the 18-to-49 demographic. She recently accepted the position of Vice President of original content at Netflix.
Most notably known for bringing to life the fictional loud talking, and good-hearted matriarch Mabel “Madea”Simmons, Mr. Perry’s self-made approach to filmmaking has amassed an entertainment empire that has generated more than $2 billion. Boo! A Madea Halloween took in nearly $75 million at the box office on a $20 million budget. His consistency led Viacom to swoop in and offer the Atlanta-based mogul a five-year deal that encompasses film, TV and short film video.
One man who has been on top of his game is Will Packer. From his early success at Screen Gems, where his films either opened at No. 1 or No. 2 at the box office. To his current run at Universal, where he’s had hits with films like Ride Along and most recently Girls Trip, he continues to turn out hits. Earlier this year, he produced the Gabrielle Union thriller Breaking In as well as the Kevin Hart/ Tiffany Haddish comedy Night School. Next on deck is the remake of Jacob’s Ladder with Michael Ealy and Nicole Beharie, What Men Want, a reboot of the Mel Gibson film that will star Taraji P. Henson, Blackish star Marsai Martin and Insecure’s Issa Rae.
As co-founder and co-CEO of Alcon Entertainment with Andrew Kosove, they’ve produced a number of box office hits for nearly twenty years. Among their films include Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia, Love Don’t Cost a Thing starring Nick Cannon, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 & 2, The Bind Side, which netted Sandra Bullock an Academy Award for Best Actress and made Johnson the first Black producer to receive an Oscar nomination.
After spending 20 years as a talent agent for the William Morris Talent Agency (now William Morris Endeavor), Charles King started his production company MACRO. With a mission to produce films from the perspective of people of color, MACRO has helped produced Steven Caple Jr’s The Land, Denzel Washington’s Fences, which brought Viola Davis an Academy Award and Roman J. Israel, Esq, which netted Washington his eighth Oscar nomination. MACRO also helped produced Dee Rees’ Mudbound, which received four Oscar nods, and this year’s Sorry To Bother You, starring Lakeith Stanfield.
Producer of the successful shows Growing Up Hip Hop and Atlanta TV series. Datari has also extended his productions skills onto the Showtime platform launching new series Shut up and Dribble, executive producing with Lebron James and Maverick Carter. With close to 40 production credits, Turner is turning his one-man production into a force to be reckoned with!
Allain was a script reader at Columbia, when she convinced executives to green light the amazing film that came to be known as Boyz N The Hood. This began a partnership with with Mel Jones, and a fast track to launching some of the following projects. The Weekend, which recently had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and Clark Johnson’s Juanita, starring Alfre Woodard, and Angel Kristi Williams’s Really Love, starring Queen Sugar’s Kofi Soriboe.
A former Sr. Vice-President of Production for Columbia’s TriStar Pictures, DeVon Franklin’s first producing credit came with Miracles From Heaven, which had a $13M budget and grossed $73M. He followed it with the faith based animated film The Star, which featured the voices of Gina Rodriguez, Tyler Perry, and Oprah Winfrey. Currently filming is his next project, Breakthrough, directed by Roxanne Dawson and starring This Is Us actress Chrissy Metz, Topher Grace and Mike Colter.
Oscar nominated for producing Manchester By The Sea, Kimberly Steward became the second black female to achieve that milestone after Oprah Winfrey (Selma). Prior to that, she had produced Thomas Allen Harris’ acclaimed documentary Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. Coming up next is the True Adventures of Wolf Boy which she executive produced.
In a short amount of time, Roxanne Avent and Robert F. Smith, associated with the production company, Hidden Film Group have increased their slate of films from the success of Meet The Blacks, to Traffik starring Paula Patton. Upcoming films include the comedy feature All-Star Weekend, directed by and starring Jamie Foxx, along with Robert Downey Jr., Gerard Butler, and Eva Longoria, Meet The Blacks 2, The House Next Door, The Intruder starring Michael Ealy, and Fatale starring Hilary Swank.
With his creations Black-ish and Grown-ish, Barris, 44, negotiated his way out of his long-term ABC Studios deal and into a giant, high-eight-figure pact at Netflix. In film, he’s parlayed his success co-writing Girls Trip and Barbershop into a half-dozen other projects, including forthcoming Shaft, White Men Can’t Jump and Coming 2 America reboots.
A British artist, director, and screenwriter who has garnered many awards for his art exhibitions and film work. He broke through into the mainstream film industry with his 2008 film, Hunger. His 2011 film, Shame, earned many accolades. McQueen’s 2013 film, 12 Years a Slave, won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as the 2014 Academy Award for best picture. His most recent project Widows is a heist movie with a social message addressing Chicago political corruption and social instability once the money runs out.
Training Day and The Equalizer director Antoine Fuqua is one of the most prominent and busiest black film and TV directors in Hollywood. His work in most recent years includes action thriller hits such as Olympus Has Fallen (2013) the sports drama Southpaw (2015), and the Western remake The Magnificent Seven (2016). With Equalizer 2 under his belt, Fuqua is currently in negotiations with Paramount to helm a time-spanning action thriller titled Infinite.
Coogler first feature film, Fruitvale Station, the true story of Oakland native Oscar Grant, an unarmed man who was shot in the back by a police officer. The success of Fruitvale gave him the opportunity to direct a movie he grown up watching as a child, Rocky Ryan choose to explore the racial dynamic in those films, which brought Creed to life. Soon after, came Disney began courting him to direct Black Panther, which went on to make box office history. Leading to Coogler involvement for Black Panther 2.
Amma’s 2004 feature film, A Way of Life, was her directorial debut (she also wrote the screenplay) and premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. The film garnered Amma newcomer nominations from the London Film Critics’ Circle and Evening Standard Film Awards and won Amma 17 international awards for her writing and directing.
Later, Amma was contracted and commissioned by the BFI to develop the period piece Belle a film that tells the story of Belle’s upbringing by her Great Uncle, Lord Mansfield, at Kenwood House in Hampstead.
Rhimes’ stable of established hits Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder proved as sturdy as ever. And even though she had a few misses of her own (The Catch, Still Star-Crossed), ABC is placing more chips on 47-year-old Rhimes, with a Grey’s spinoff and a legal entry For the People.
Johnson is at the top of every list, and an incredible force with projects like Skyscraper and Rampage which grossed $739 million combined, Johnson’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle hit $962 million and Fate of the Furious topped $1.2 billion. But with 23 projects in the pipeline — including San Andreas 2 and Shane Black’s Doc Savage, plus NBC reality competition Titan Games — and HBO hit Ballers still rolling, the 46-year-old remains one of Hollywood’s highest-paid, earning a reported $124 million in 2018.
Duvernay began as a publicist with a passion to tell African American story. A black woman who did not go to film school, she has managed to produce material which earned her a golden globe nomination for her 2014 film Selma as well as and an Oscar nomination for her 2016 documentary 13th. The 44-year-old prolific creator had a critical hit on OWN with Queen Sugar (produced by DuVernay and directed exclusively by women), Plus A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and newcomer Storm Reid.
Hosting five primetime shows across three broadcast networks, including ABC’s new Funderdome and NBC’s upcoming Little Big Shots spinoff. The last year also saw him make a huge powerplay, canceling his own successful daytime talk show to launch a new one with an ownership stake.
Lebron relocated to LA and is setting up to dominate the court and Hollywood! Launching a documentary titled Shut Up and Dribble, This three-part series dives into the modern history of the league and its players starting with the 1976 merger of the freewheeling American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association. Revealing how the top players expanded their notoriety off the court in fields such as business and fashion while becoming icons in the process. Coupled with his other show The Shop James is making power moves inside and outside the court.
While he’s acting in lead and supporting roles, Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker has also been working behind the camera and helping filmmakers get their feet wet. His production company Significant Productions. Helped produced Ryan Coogler’s feature debut Fruitvale Station, after it won acclaim as a short film. He produced Rick Famuyima’s Dope, which introduced folks to rising stars Shamiek Moore and Kiersey Clemons, Roxanne Roxanne with Chanté Adams, and Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You.
Born and raised in Miami, Fl., Florida State University graduate, Jenkins debut his feature film Medicine For Melancholy and it was hailed as one of the best films of 2009 by the New York Times. His second film Moonlight was the winner for Best Picture at 2016 Golden Globe Awards. Nothing but critical acclaim surrounding this man from the start and with the release of his next project Beale Street through his production company SMUGGLER, it looks like he will maintain the well-deserved praise.
Born Shelton Jackson Lee, launched his first venture in 1986 with his first feature film She’s Gotta Have It. Shot in two weeks with a budget of $175,000, this filmed grossed more than $7 million establishing Lee as director of promise! From there, Spike went on to add over 70 producing credits to his title, bringing to life numerous independent films, short films, and documentaries that are provocative and push the culture forward, earning him the respect of his peers inside and outside of Hollywood.
Born in Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Denzel has delivered three decades of top tier work within Hollywood, with a towering screen presence, limitless talent and one of the most acclaimed and influential entertainers of all time. Producing, directing and co-starring in August Wilson’s Broadway revival “Fences”
He’s been a force to reckon with whether in front of or behind the camera.
Born Mark Vincent, the man we know as Vin Diesel dropped out of college to create his first film, Multi-Facial, which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995. The prolific producer (Passengers, TV’s Preacher) and international star XXX: The Return of Xander Cage did only $44.9 million in the U.S. but raked in more than $345 million globally).
Oscar-winning writer-director of Get Out
After the critical and commercial powerhouse that was his directorial debut, Get Out, Peele has become the number one hot property for Hollywood horror and we can’t wait to see what his imagination has in store for us next. With one of the most intriguing casts and mysterious posters for an upcoming film, Us is already topping our lists of most anticipated movies for next year. With a Rorschach style print and a brave, strange one-word title, it’s bound to be just as chilling and thought-provoking as Peele’s debut. It has also been suggested the film will have up to five times the budget of Get Out, and we already know the amazing things the filmmaker can do with only $4.5 million.
Whether it’s his Emmy-nominated FX series Atlanta or his viral video for chart-topper “This Is America,” which has racked up 385 million YouTube views since May, Glover, 34, has a knack for the zeitgeist. While the multihyphenate’s turn as Lando in Solo couldn’t prevent a franchise box office low, he’ll re-team with Disney to voice Simba in Jon Favreau’s The Lion King.
Funnyman, actor and producer has established himself as a major force to be reckoned with in showbiz, raking in $57 million as one of the highest paid celebrities in 2018.
Kevin Hart’s early works include stand-up album, I’m a Little Grown Man, Seriously Funny, Laugh at My Pain, Let Me Explain, and What Now? turned him into a full-fledged star. In addition, Hart appeared in roles such as in the third and the fourth films of The Scary Movie franchise, Think Like a Man, The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2004), Soul Plane (2004), Little Fockers (2010), The Five-Year Engagement (2011), Ride Along (2014), About Last Night (2014), The Wedding Ringer (2015), Get Hard (2015), Central Intelligence (2016) and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017). In 2017, he launched Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Network. In 2019, Hart co-stars in The Upside. We will see what happens with the Kevin who should inherit the moniker the “Hardest working man in show business”.
Actor Lakeith Lee Stanfield made his debut in the film Short Term and since then his career has been non-stop. Born in Victorville, CA, he channeled his energy into the arts to create characters that are genuine and authentic.
The King of Wakanda may forever be his title!
But Chadwick had developed and impressive resume before Marvel came calling. Delivering breathtaking performances as Jacki Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and James Brown, Boseman has become as Iconic as the characters he portrays.
Standing outside his father’s shadow, John David in a short time has garnered the respect as a thespian, displaying diversity and range in roles such as running back star in Ballers and his Golden Globe-nominated leading role as Ron Stallworth in BlackKKKlansman.
But what can you expect? Greatness breeds greatness!
Our brother from the UK achieved international acclaim for his leading role as Chris Washington in the horror film Get Out, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe, SAG award and BAFTA award. And if that’s not enough, he co-starred in a little film called Black Panther.
The action hero himself, Jordan has been gracing the screen since a youth. Whether television or movies, he delivered each role with memorable impact. However, within the last five years his career has become super-charged, cementing himself in the hearts and minds of all Rocky fans as Apollo Creed’s Son Adonis in Creed I and II. Coupled with with his scene stealing portrayal of T’challa nemesis Kilomonger in Black Panthe, we think it’s safe to say that Michael B. Jordan has definitely arrived!
This man has rapidly become one of Hollywood’s most sought out faces. An extraordinarily diverse and wide skill set, delivering impactful performances no matter the role. Born in Oakland, California, Ali, made his professional debut with the California Shakespeare Festival. Ali brings a sincerity, dignity and relatability to every character he portrays whether on the big screen or TV.
Mr. Howard today is better known for his leading role as Luscious Lyon on the hit Tv show
Empire. But this Lion has been roaring for a while now. Making his first major movie debut in the films Dead Presidents and Mr. Holland’s Opus, Terrance has been commanding the screen with each appearance. Here is snapshot of projects Mr. Howard has appeared in, which shows the diversity and range he brings to each performance: Ray, Winnie, Lackawanna Blues, Crash, Four Brothers, and Hustle & Flow.
The man, the myth, the legend!
Samuel Jackson seems to own each role he plays. So much so, that we believe each character he portrays to be him. Which equates to the fact that Mr. Jackson is a master thespian with credits extending through Broadway, tv and of course the silver screen. With that said, the question should be not what’s in your wallet, but what does your wallet say, and Samuel’s says it all he is one Bad Mutha!
Viola the quiet storm, has chosen roles that rebel against Hollywood’s stereotypical characters designed for African American women. For three decades her dedication to authenticity has garnered her critical acclaim the respect of her peers and positioned her as game changer in Hollywood.
Within the last few years comedian and actress Haddish has rapidly become one of the most sought-out comedic actress. And honestly, she has not even hit her stride! Living proof that resilience and consistency pays off. As she would say, “She ready.”
Audiences have been enjoying Regina’s performances since the days of Tv series 227. With a career extending from TV to film, she is versatile enough to go toe to toe with some of hip-hops toughest characters to a supporting wife in Jerry Maguire. She has a list of credits, which include award winning performance’s garnering two Primetime Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe Award nomination as well as Critics Choice Television Award nomination.
Newcomer and break-out talent, Adams rose to fame from her portrayal of Roxane Shante in Netflix original drama film Roxanne Roxanne. This young lady first film was such heavy weights as Nia Long, and Mahershala Ali. With that type of fervor, one can only imagine what’s next on the schedule for Chante.
This British actress has been making a name for herself over the past decade, working across Hollywood movies, British indie films, TV shows, and the London stage.
Gugu’s delivered spell bounding performances in Belle and Black Mirror’s San Junipero.
Plan to see more of Gugu as she will be on heavy rotation, starring in two series appearing on Netflix this year.
Reid began acting when she was three years old. After earning small roles, Reid landed a role in the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave as Emily. Her next major film was Sleight playing Tina, the younger sister of the film’s protagonist Bo played by Jacob Latimore. She made numerous appearances on television; most notably The Thundermans, Adam DeVine’s House Party, NCIS: Los Angeles and Chicago P.D. She played one of the protagonists, Meg Murry in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time.
Delivering consistent performances, no matter the role. Her performances seem effortless, and not forced at all. A lady at all times, the name says it all Sanaa which in Swahili means a “work of art.” Such a fitting name for this beautiful talent.
A commanding presence that’s strong, sexy and fierce! Now a 20-year veteran in Hollywood, with an amazing list of credits, Henson is consistently moving her career forward, securing herself as a leading lady and box office draw no matter the genre.
Oscar winner and a bona fide It Girl, Lupita certainly has it: She’s beautiful, charming, a magnetic presence on and off-screen, a fashion darling, and a figure of vaulting ambition. Now part of the Marvel Extended Universe as a cast member in the Blockbuster success Black Panther movie, Lupita is definitely succeeding and the beautiful thing about her is when she shines she lifts up others up with her!