Portraits of people featured in the blacklist100.
Credit: blacklist100

Blacklist100 Brings Together the Best and Brightest of Black America

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From activists and scientists to artists and Olympians, blacklist100 compiles a cohort of Black experts working to level the playing field and uplift Black and minority talent.

Blacklist100 is a recently launched e-book profiling 100 Black culture-makers, thought-leaders and agents of change. Author Kai D. Wright curated the 170-page publication and suggests businesses and organizations hire those individuals profiled, whether it’s to collaborate on a creative campaign, to train and teach others, to offer keynote programming at conferences or to catalyze “commitments to change.”

“Whatever your business needs, these 100 experts represent a starting point for action,” Wright writes. “Use this guide regularly as go-to-resource, join the online blacklist100 community, and keep telling others about Black talent on your radar.”

Watson organized the book into five distinct sections: cause and community; industry and services; marketing, communication and design; media, arts and entertainment; and STEM and health care. It’s an extremely easy catalog to peruse, as every entry contains embedded hyperlinks to each person or business’s website or social media accounts. Each entry also lists what specific topics you might want to ask about, such as “How to thrive in a male-dominated industry,” “How to turn strangers into a community,” “How to democratize data” and “How to support Black business.”

Though the people and organizations featured come from all around the world, there are several you can find right here in L.A.: 

Karen Civil is the owner of Always Civil Engineering, a full-service branding and marketing firm with clients including rapper YG and Hillary Clinton.

Blavity is a media company for Black consumers. Blavity has seven brands, including AfroTech, a tech conference and online platform for Black millennials searching for networking opportunities.

Boye Fajinmi is the co-founder of FutureParty, a lifestyle content and networking company. You can sign up here to receive a newsletter full of business and entertainment news every morning.

Ashlee Marie Preston is a media personality and trans rights activist. She’s also the founder of You Are Essential, a funding organization and mutual aid network that fights barriers in housing and food security and advocates for seniors, people with disabilities and marginalized communities.

Angela Benton is the CEO of Streamlytics, which “uses data science to measure what people are watching and listening to across streaming platforms.”

Jaia Thomas is a sports and entertainment attorney, UCLA adjunct professor, Entrepreneur Magazine contributing writer and conference speaker. She also created Diverse Representation, a database of Black agents, attorneys, managers and publicists.

Rodney Williams is the co-founder and chief commercial officer of data-over-sound software company LISNR.

Backstage Capital minimizes funding disparities in tech by investing in people of color, women and LGBTQ individuals. Since 2015, it’s raised $10 million and invested in over 130 companies.

Keith Cartwright is the founder of creative agency CARTWRIGHT and the co-founder of the civic and social organization Sunday Morning.

Omar Johnson is the founder of Opus United, a collective of entertainers, athletes, strategists, creatives and executives. He recently took out this full-page ad in the New York Times: “Dear White Corporate America.

Maya Watson is a director of social media at Netflix and manages its Strong Black Leads platform. 

Jason Bolden and Adair Curtis own JSN Studio, which specializes in interior, product and fashion design. The couple appeared in the 2019 Netflix reality show “Styling Hollywood.”

Besidone Amoruwa handles Emerging Talent Partnerships at Instagram. She works to make social media more inclusive.

Delane Parnell is the founder of esports platform PlayVS.

MaC Venture Capital is an investment firm whose startups include PlayVS, Brat, Goodfair and Blavity.

Millana Snow is an energy healer and the CEO and founder of Wellness Official.

Koya Webb is a yoga teacher, health coach, author, speaker, podcast host and the founder of Get Loved Up, a lifestyle community and yoga school.

Talitha Watkins is a talent agent for Creative Artists Agency who creates opportunities for diverse talent.

Filmmaker and writer Justin Simien is the creator of “Dear White People.”

Angelica Ross is a trans rights advocate and the CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises. She’s also appeared in “Pose” and “American Horror Story: 1984.”

Download the complete blacklist100 here.

Editor’s Note: The author of Blacklist100 is Kai D. Wright, not Kai D. Watson as originally published. Los Angeleno apologizes for the error.

Los Angeleno