Actresses, producers, writers and more Black women in Hollywood are celebrated for their perseverance and sisterhood in the NY Times Culture Issue.
We are living in an age in which some of our greatest, most successful actors are black women, near 50 or older, veterans who have fought against an industry that for much of its history would have rather ignored them.
To be a black woman in Hollywood is to have to be steadfast in the pursuit of one’s craft, in the search for basic opportunities. They have had to toil through the intricacies of a doubly marginalized existence — being black and being a woman — and have rarely been allowed to fully extol the complexities of their truth for the screen.
The notion of having a critical mass of black actresses over the age of 50 isn’t something we could have fathomed three decades ago. It would have been hard to predict even when Berry was accepting her best actress Oscar. In her speech, she dedicated her win to “every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.” That door is still closed for many, and in an era where #OscarsSoWhite trends annually, there is still work to be done. But in refusing to be sidelined, these women charted a map of an altogether new territory — and changed the terms of who gets to be at the top.