Empowering Voices: Spotlighting Black Creators

February is a vibrant and significant month as we recognize Black history and culture. Black History Month stands as a time to not only reflect on the struggles and triumphs of the past but also to celebrate the extraordinary contributions of black individuals across various fields. In the creative industry, the impact of black visionaries has been nothing short of transformative, leaving an impactful mark on the world of art, design, music, film, and beyond. It's important to recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion, understanding that different perspectives and experiences drive innovation. As such, we asked our team to highlight their favourite black creators and creatives that have positively impacted not only the creative industry but also their own views or perspectives.


Spike Lee

Teagan, a fan of authentic storytelling, noted Spike Lee as one of the best directors of all time. In his work, Spike Lee has continually explored issues within the black community and various political issues, representing the African American experience, challenging racial stereotypes, and highlighting black talent in the American film industry. Beyond his directing skills, Teagan admires Lee for his uplifting spirit and unapologetic voice, making him a director worth meeting.



Jordan Peele & Keegan-Michael Key

Doug recognized Jordan Peele, a figure well-known for his work in both comedy and horror genres. Highlighted by the creativity, commitment to his craft, and the diversity of characters in Key and Peele, Doug continues to follow Peele's journey as a significant player in the horror/thriller space.

Keegan-Michael Key is known for his comedic brilliance and his well-known role in From Key and Peele. Doug also mentioned his surprising musical talents showcased in projects like Schmigadoon and The Prom. His comedic timing and believability as an everyman are incredible, or in Doug's words: “I always give an extra star rating to anything I watch starring Keegan-Michael Key.”



Desmond Cole

Desmond Cole is a Toronto-based journalist, activist, and writer known for his powerful speeches. One speech on the history of Anti-Black Racism in Canada left a lasting impression on Calvin, making Cole a personal favourite whose writings and activities he consistently follows.



Varda Étienne & Sarahmée

Varda Étienne is known for breaking taboos around mental illness through her book, Maudite Folle. Laurie-Anne noted Varda's broader impact, including launching a cosmetics line specializing in products for all skin tones and promoting inclusivity in the beauty industry.

Sarahmée is a Canadian rapper from Quebec who takes a feminist and anti-racist approach with her work. Her song Ma Peau not only gained popularity but also found its place in a book empowering youth to embrace their bodies and origins. Laurie-Anne enjoys her music and the impact she has on the younger generations with her messaging, as well as her different opinions on topics related to people of colour. 


Donald Glover 

Donald Glover is known for his roles in Atlanta and as the artist Childish Gambino. His recognition in various creative spheres, including writing, directing, producing, singing, and rapping, continues to be an inspiration as a well-rounded creative. Donald Glover has influenced Jessica and the creative industry by exemplifying the power of versatility and multi-talented artistry. In Jessica's words, “His success as a well-rounded artist encourages me to pursue multiple interests with the belief that I can pursue and succeed in different things I love.”



Andy Marshall

Torin highlighted Andy Marshall, an actor whose contributions to the acting industry, particularly in RUDE, the first Black Canadian Film with a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, and his role in Torin’s web series, Seth On Survival, stand out. Torin has gotten to know Andy personally and recognized his talent and contributions to the creative space.



Kanika Ambrose & Jully Black 

James spotlighted playwright Kanika Ambrose, acknowledging her innovation and creativity in works like Truth and Of the Sea. He shared a personal connection with Kanika, having witnessed her journey from a theatre school grad to an impactful force in the creative industry.

Jully Black is a Juno award-winning singer-songwriter with powerful vocals. James heard her up close for the first time when she improvised the powerful vocals on the opening music for IBD’s former client, Hungry Eyes Media's Shoot the Messenger. Jully made her musical theatre début in the title role in Caroline, or Change, at the Winter Garden Theatre in 2020, which was James’ last live show before the pandemic. “She was fantastic!”



Tony Todd & Ken Foree 

Joe, the team's horror movie expert, recognized Tony Todd and Ken Foree. Known for iconic roles in Star Trek: The Next Generation and the Candyman series, Tony Todd's impact on the horror genre is significant.

Similarly, Ken Foree's roles in classic horror films like Dawn of the Dead and From Beyond make him a prominent figure in the creative industry for horror fans and film creators like Joe.

As Black History Month comes to a close, we're grateful our team took the opportunity to reflect on the diverse and influential black creatives and creators who have shaped and contributed to the creative industry. From various different genres in the creative space, these individuals have not only left a notable impact in their respective fields but continue to emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion in driving innovation and creativity. As a wrap-up this month, we use this as a reminder to carry forward the lessons and inspirations gained from these individuals and all-black creatives and creators throughout the year.

Who's inspired you this month?


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