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5 of our Favorite Badass & Black Women Directors

Women’s History Month is officially here and with that, we wanted to highlight some really great Black women directors who are changing the game through their camera lens and from their director seats. The Film and TV Industry is largely male-dominated, and these badass Black women are breaking barriers with fresh and diverse perspectives.

Issa Rae

Jo-Issa Rae Diop, known as Issa Rae, has been making waves since the early days of YouTube with her popular web series Awkward Black Girl, a highly relatable show that spoke to the awkward Black girl in us all. She later created the hit HBO show, Insecure, for which she received an Emmy nomination and two Golden Globe nominations. Issa continues to make waves by depicting the Black experience and bringing awareness to experiences not often depicted in mainstream media.

Ava Duverney

You might have heard this name associated with powerful pieces of work such as When They See Us and 13th, two films that discuss the African American experiences of inequality in the united states justice system. Duverney is also the first Black woman to win the directing award in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere.

Shonda Rhimes

Everyone has at least one favorite Shonda Rhimes show. From Greys Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder to her newest hit series Bridgerton, she been an integral part in TV and pop culture. In 2005, she opened her production company called Shondaland and its lifestyle magazine adjacent in 2015. In 2007, Time magazine named her 100 People Who Help Shape the World. And they were right!

Nia DaCosta

Nia DaCosta is a director and screenwriter who is currently working on the upcoming horror film Candyman. She’s a director to watch as she’s making a powerful name for herself. She has also become the youngest filmmaker and the first Black woman to direct an upcoming marvel sequel film, Captain Marvel.

Julie Dash

Julie Dash is a trailblazing woman in her own right. A graduate of UCLA, she took part to the L.A rebellion that helped to shape African American cinema. She is also the first Black woman to have a full-length feature film released theatrically titled Daughters of the Dust which has been included in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for its cultural significance. She’s currently working on an Angela Davis biopic which we’re very excited about.

We’ve gathered up this list of trailblazing women. If you're an aspiring filmmaker, screen writer, and/or director, may these trailblazers motivate you, so that you may break barriers and shift the narrative of our culture. To women who want to inspire, educate, and guide on the big screen: this list is for you! We hope to see your name in the credits soon!


Minerve Jean is a Haitian-born storyteller who shares her poetry and writings unapologetically. She believes in the power of words and their ability to help and heal. Her debut book For The Secrets That Gave Themselves Away is an anthology of raw poetry where she uses words to paint pictures that will resonate with the human soul. She has also contributed pieces to Hercampus, Orange and Blue Magazine and MLNNYC. In her free time, she likes to snack on Avocado toast and curl up with a good book.


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