Black History Month Pt 1: Black Innovators Who Inspire Change

Black Innovators Who Inspire Change
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During a recent interview, I had the privilege of speaking about the collision of conscious marketing with inclusion at its forefront. When marketers think of the inclusion of diverse voices, it’s a no-brainer. However, bringing it to life in genuine, authentic ways is more than agreement. It’s showing up to difficult conversations with more than a listening ear. It’s challenging your unconscious bias and being willing to push back on them. It’s also about being aware of the movers and shakers that lead the conversations of change.

For Black creators, we’re often overlooked and undervalued in our representation. Yet, we make up a massive amount of the influence we see on Instagram Reels and the infamous TikTok dance challenges.

Shifting a systemically broken system is the war, but there are mini battles that lead to our victory. Within content marketing, it’s essential to know the change agents that vocalize their stand on inspiring change, and we’ve compiled some of the best to help inspire and evoke action within your marketing efforts.

We're featuring 12 phenomenal Black Creators that will inspire, inform, or spark change in the way we think collectively. Check out our list and be inspired. Compiled by #ClearVoicer @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet

These are 12 Black Creators who spark change both within their digital communities and around the world.

Amber Whittington

Amber Whittington, The Founder of Amber’s Closet

Amber Whittington is a California-born Youtuber, actress, basketball player, activist, and the Founder of Amber’s Closet. She is well known as one of the leading voices fighting for equality for the LGBTQ+ community. She began gaining massive attention after her 2012 YouTube Video, “Ask Amber.”

You can find her on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube, and her website.

Alex Wolf

Alex Wolf, Host of The Alex Wolf Podcast

Notably earning a spot on Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative In Business, Alex Wolf is a tech-philosopher who creates meaningful content that inspires people to be fascinated about tech, innovation, economics, and human nature. Adweek also noted her as one of the Top 20 Influencers Who Radiate Creativity & Get Everyone Talking and sold her company in 2018 to focus on speaking and consulting. Her Podcast, The Alex Wolf Podcast, will have you listening for hours, leaving fans anxiously anticipating the next season.

L.A. Lucas

L.A. Lucas, LightWarrior Entertainment

Born and raised in Bronx, New York, L.A. Lucas is a trailblazing film director and the CEO of LightWarrior Entertainment. Her work includes works from motion pictures, television shows, documentaries, music videos, commercials, reality shows, and more. Her content on Instagram will inspire your creative flow while pushing the greatness within.

Koya Webb

Koya Webb, Yoga Instructor and Influencer and the host of Get Loved Up Podcast

Mental health matters, and it’s a necessary topic of conversation. Koya Webb is a self-love advocate who dedicates her content to creating a space filled with love and intention toward being whole and healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually (in whatever way that looks like for you). If you’re looking for a space to unwind and center throughout your day, her Instagram Lives or IGTV content will provide you with the tools to make self-care a part of your day.

Wole Lagunju

Wole Lagunju, Artist 

Are you craving design inspiration that challenges the perception of being cultural idioms? Wole Langunji is a notable Nigerian artist known around the world that creates art through cultural references mined from the eras of colonization and decolonization of the African continent critique the racial and social structures of the 19th century while evoking commentaries on power, femininity, and womanhood. His art will leave you speechless as you seek (or discover) the meaning behind the beauty of his artwork. His Instagram is great, and you can check out his website for more.

Lanaya Irvin

Lanaya Irvin, CEO of Coqual 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity are top priorities for many organizations, but where do they get data to back up their initiatives? Coqual is one of the great resources available to learn the realities of why the work of DEI is needed and necessary for all industries. In addition to Lanaya’s role as CEO of Coqual, she is an influential thought leader and speaks on race, LGBTQ inclusion, gender equality, and inclusive leadership. Follow her on Instagram and check out her interview with Bloomberg.

This month, we're featuring @ashleysimpo, @Latoyashauntay, and many other great Black Creators that you should know. Check them out, and be inspired. #BlackContentCreators | Compiled by @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet

Ijeoma Oluo

Ijeoma Oluo, New York Times Best-Selling Author

Ijeoma Oluo is the New York Times best-selling author of So You Want To Talk About Race and MEDIOCRE. She is best known for her revelatory examination of race in America and the racial injustice imposed on Black and Brown people in the United States. Her content will constantly remind you to be a better human being to other human beings. Check out her Linktree for her latest features and writings.

Micheal Forde

Micheal Forde, Author 

Brooklyn, New York native Michael H. Forde is the author of Success Begins From Where You Are! Through his writing and content on social media, he’s committed to helping others live a positive, fulfilled life on their terms. On his Instagram, he shares inspirational messages, memes, and videos that can keep you focused on creating your definition of happiness, one day at a time.

Latoya Shauntay Snell

Latoya Shauntay Snell, Fitness influencer, Chef, Advocate, and Host of The Running Fat Chef Podcast  

If you’re comfortable to direct, assertive conversations, Latoya’s content will inspire while confronting biases and systemic issues that Black creators and fitness influencers face daily. Her honest, transparent dialog is one of a kind, and her humor is the icing on the cake. She is a must-follow!

Ashley Simpo

Ashley Simpo, Freelance writer, editor, and columnist for Dating w/ Kids for Kindred

Ashley is the author of A Kids Book About Divorce, and she is mainly known on social media, especially Instagram and Twitter as Black Ashley. Her writings are the collision of truth and love, inspired by her real-life experiences and random thoughts that she shares with her audience. Her tweets often go viral, and she’s the first to remind people to appropriately credit Black Creators of their words and work when sharing on social media (as we all should).

Franchesca Ramsey

Franchesca Ramsey, Author and former writer and contributor for The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central

Franchesca (also known as Chescaleigh) is the author of Well, That Escalated Quickly. She speaks boldly about the realities of what allyship looks like (versus what it isn’t) and confronts racism head-on through her web series and interviews. On Instagram, you can also see more of her creative side with home décor projects, fashion, and her cute pup, Flex.

Marie Beecham

Marie Beecham, Racial Equality Advocate

Marie Beecham is a connector for honest conversations and unity on social media and beyond. She’s known for her in-depth diversity, inclusion, and equity workshops, along with her support to individuals and teams on crafting difficult dialogues through digital mediums. On Instagram, she shares thoughtful, intentional messages that inspire her audience to go deeper into their efforts of togetherness.

From @mariejbeech to @amberscloset33, we're highlighting the Black Creators that you should know and follow. #BlackHistoryIsOurHistory | Compiled by @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet

To assist you with turning inspiration into action, ClearVoice writer and content strategist Natalie Dunbar breaks down practical tips on incorporating diversity, inclusion, and equity into your content marketing strategies within her recent article. Committing to creating the change we desire to see must go beyond the words we type as writers or the messaging we put forth in campaigns as marketers. It’s an act of reaching out, communicating the hard (yet honest things), and confronting ourselves first before placing subconscious bias on others.

I hope this list becomes the beginning of your journey to getting to know these phenomenal Black creators (and others). May we strive to make Black History Month more than a month, but an acknowledgment of Black pioneers that are paving the way for change and unity regardless of the monthly holiday observance.

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About the author

Altimese Nichole

Altimese Nichole is a best-selling author, speaker, brand strategist, publicist, and diversity champion with a heart to help her clients win as the Founder of The Ezer Agency. She attained her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications, Broadcast Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed her Master of Management degree from the University of Phoenix. She has over 12 years of experience with public relations and marketing with companies small and large, including CNN, Cartoon Network, Black Bride Magazine, Church's Chicken, Sutter Home Wines, La Femme International Film Festival, Facebook, and more.