Biopics about the lives of influential Black people have run the gamut between blockbuster hit (Ali, Ray, and Straight Outta Compton) and better luck next time (All Eyez on Me and Wendy Williams’ failed attempt at an Aaliyah movie). What is consistent throughout is that audiences crave stories about diverse cultural icons and historical figures. And there are a wealth of stories to choose from because, well… Black people are lit.
However, there is a special case to be made for more biopics about Black women, especially those who work in entertainment, where women of color are still too often relegated to the background or are afterthoughts. This Black History Month, I thought I’d list just a few of the Black women who have not only made huge strides in the world of entertainment, but who’ve led fascinating lives. In addition to their high-profile careers, they’ve experienced the kind of love, loss, scandal, trauma, and evolution that would make for a damn good movie. If you’re a filmmaker or producer, I hope you’re taking notes.
It's Black History Month, but at Refinery29, we believe in celebrating Black voices, Black art, and Black women 365 days of the year. Follow us on Instagram at @r29unbothered for more on issues that affect Black women's everyday lives.