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As a black female, do you feel you have to work harder to make your mark as a creative/ brand/professional?

MAYXLABEL

As a black female I do feel like I have to work much harder as a creative and business owner. I have to make sure that my brand looks as professional as possible and operates professionally too. I feel like within fashion especially it’s extremely hard compared to beauty and hair businesses as there isn’t much high profile fashion brands founded by black people let alone black women in the U.K.

 

I’d love to be on the same level as House of CB or PrettyLittleThing and it seems like the only black owned fashion brands I see get attention are usually streetwear brands. I’ve always said to myself that I do not want my brand to become a ‘twitter brand’ or ‘Instagram brand’. I want my brand to be known and appreciated outside of ‘black twitter’.

 

Some may disagree but I don’t even really want people to emphasise the fact that my brand is black owned, yes I’m a black girl, but business is business at the end of the day. However, shout out to all the black women starting their own brands and just doing what they love! I wish them all the best. 

Precious Sodimu

Yes, I think I have to work harder to make my mark. In general, with anything creative, it’s going to feel overcrowded and competitive because everyone wants their content to stand out. However, in relation to black female creatives, I feel like there’s too much emphasis on ‘outshining’ the next girl rather than actually standing out.

 

There’s so much room for black female creatives but some of us are too concerned about what the next girl is doing, so much so that we create a claustrophobic environment where there is ‘no space’.

 

Being black and being a woman is a like a double whammy and by default, I have to work twice as hard to stand out. I don’t just want to be a small scale blogger, I want to take things further and scale up. I try to my make content speak for itself and I feel like if every black female tries to make their content speak volumes then there will always be space for us all to shine. Making your mark in this very populated industry will be hard but it isn’t an impossible task.

Ehi Erhahon

Despite the fact that western culture has shifted to a certain degree to accommodate and appreciate the works of black female creatives, I still believe that we are required to work harder. The mantra of “working twice as hard” has been instilled into the consciousness of the black woman, in order for us to attain half of what our white counterparts have achieved; leaving us tired and with feelings of inadequacy.

 

Still, I believe in our Black Girl Magic and that all our hard work will be awarded accordingly in the end.

Martina Gordeen

I definitely feel that I have to work a lot harder than the average person. I believe that being black and being female makes any task that much more difficult. Society is built in a way that makes it harder for women to get access to certain opportunities and then being a black woman makes that even harder. 

 

I’d even go as far as saying that it is even harder to be a dark skinned black woman in the creative industry because darker complexions aren’t utilised often and if they are - the intentions behind the campaign usually have to be questioned. 

 

Im still learning to come to terms with it and I have decided to just work as hard as I possibly can because my time in the limelight will come and I need to be in the best position/mindset possible to deal with everything that comes with it.

Chidinma E

I do believe that as black females we often have to work harder to make a mark and truly excel, in what often seems like a white man's world. However, God never gives us more than we can handle, and I feel that as black females we've been given the spirit of excellence and the drive to preserve in any environment through any situation.

 

We are natural hustlers and that can be seen through all the startups, creative ventures and successful black women that are rising up and taking up seats at the table that they deserve.

 

As a writer, I can put forward my own narrative, my experiences, express my emotions and my journey with my faith through my blog MWC and many women are doing great things in their own way to make an impact and further pave the way for other black women to step into and succeed in whatever they aim to do, which is such a blessing. 

Temmy Noir

No, I wouldn’t say I have to work harder as a black female to be marked as a creative. The reason for this is because we are in 2018 and a lot has changed throughout the years. Creatives are on the rise especially in the black society and Youtube is a great example of this.

 

Creatives in general, go against what many may deem as “normal” and that’s the truth.

 

In my opinion I would say I have it way more easier than those who have taken the same journey before me for instance, Patricia Bright. When Patricia started YouTube she was seen as “weird” and unusual for wanting to sit in front of a camera. Not many people understood why she did what she did and why she wanted to put herself out to the public and showcase her life. As a teenager at the age of 14, I used to sit and watched her in awe. I wanted to be just like her. I would say herself and Peakmill both worked hard to get to were they are today.  It was probably very difficult for them at the time but both have now accumulated a million subscribers each on YouTube.

I would say they both broke the restrictions on what black females could do and opened the doors for more female creatives to join them and that’s reality!

LasimLifestyle

In society we are already perceived as the least valued people, regardless of our achievements we still receive this title indirectly from others around us. Therefore, in my everyday life I have a lot of pressure on me, however as a black creative, I feel like on the platform I use to express myself it is a somewhat free-zone and it’s the only place I do not feel judged as every content creator for me  at least is perceived as the same.

 

I don’t feel like I have to work harder as a creative on youtube because for success on youtube it is mainly based on personality, content and quality. These are three factors that could potentially help your channel to ‘blow’. That’s the joy of where I release my content, I’m not pressured in any way to be a certain way, I can just be myself and if it’s entertainment for people I can consider myself somewhat lucky.

EziProse

I would say that as a black woman, whether you're a creative or not, you have to work harder than every single other group of people- in my humble opinion.

 

To be black and to be woman in a white mans world is tiresome. Now to be a creative? That's even harder!

 

Traditionally it is known that it is harder to make it as a creative than others who work in more traditional settings such as a 9-5 job so now to be a black woman in this industry? Boy.

 

Big up every black woman doing it because nobody wants to see us win. We don't even want to see each other win.

 

Being the only black girls in classes and schools and areas has pushed us to compete with each other rather than pull each other up!

 

Its hard out here, so hard and I salute and support every black girls doing their thing.

Theresa

As a black female, I know that there are certain hurdles and obstacles in this world that only a black woman will face.

 

These will attempt to hinder my growth and progress, however, I believe I am the only person truly in control of my destiny.

 

Being aware of the struggles black women face in ALL industries, in the judicial system, in healthcare and even in our own communities is important. However, I chose to put it to the back of my mind, acknowledging it too much gives "them" too much power. I have faith that God has ALREADY given me all the provision needed to fulfil my purpose on this earth ordained to me before I was even born. I want all black girls and women to focus on the many black women who have and continue to overcome every day.

 

We are a fence for each other, we pave ways for each other. Every black engineer, every black lecturer, every black barrister, every black single mom working around the clock to provide for her child, we are all important and magical.

Nanette Boateng

I believe it’s very hard to make a mark as creative being a black female. It’s already hard enough to get blog posts out there and actually viewed because people actually have to take time out to read my content, knowing that because of my gender and my race people are less inclined to read my work can be disheartening. I get a lot of support from other black males and females but not from other races, and my blog isn’t limited to one race, it’s something that everyone can read.

 

Black females often don’t pursue creative careers because we already know that it is much harder for us to be taken seriously (hence why a lot of our mothers and grandmothers may work in careers they aren’t feeling fulfilled in just to ensure they can provide for families). Any and everything we do gets picked at before our work is, especially in terms of our appearance (not even in creative industries but everywhere). Even within the black community, I believe the women (& men) that become successful in creative roles are the ones that are more attractive.

 

Being a black female is hard. But the challenges aren’t going to stop me from writing, because I love what I do - whether people recognise my work or not. Taking a lot of pride in my content makes me less unbothered about what others think. I think that any black female who wants to pursue creative hobbies or careers should put pride in their work and make that forefront.

 

Make sure you supply A1 content always, never put out anything you’re not 100% happy with. In time your work will be recognised - if mine can then so can yours.

Antonia Jade

My name’s Antonia Jade and I am a body positive advocate and lifestyle blogger and YouTuber.

As a mixed-race creative I understand my privileges within society but there is still such a struggle for women of colour, especially darker skinned women to make their mark as a creative and be noticed and appreciated for their talents.

 

When you have melanin in your skin it’s as though you have to work twice as hard to get half of the opportunities as other people. Black women are so powerful, talented and amazing so it’s time something changes and we get recognised for our creativity and efforts because we all deserve it! 

Tosin B Erins

I think being a woman in general means you have to work harder to prove yourself. But, as a black female, it’s only compounded by that fact.

 

I agree that black females are almost forced to work harder, especially to make a significant creative mark within the fashion and makeup industry. I definitely find that I have certain standards to meet in terms of performance which means unnecessary pressure and stress is put upon myself because I want to excel in what I do, I don’t want to make mistakes nor be a failure. But everyone makes mistakes right? Hence why I feel like you definitely feel a lot more vulnerable when you’re in contrast with other white male and female counterparts that do the same thing as you do but achieve more because of their skin colour.

 

So, consequently black women are at a disadvantage when compared to white men and women within the same field as they are introduced to more opportunities purely because of their skin colour. 

Ohverra

Yes definitely, as we already know black women are one of the most marginalised groups in society which are usually discriminated heavily against. Black women have to work 10x as hard to even get credit for their work.

Harleigh Reed

Personally​ I have definitely had to work hard to get paid appropriately, or at all, in my various creative fields. 

​I left my full time job as a video editor to start "The Small Slice Bakery" because my previous employer was refusing to pay me fairly. After I left they gave the salary I was asking for to my junior that I had trained. I think disadvantage leads to resourcefulness, and as a black woman any workshop, budget or pay raise that I wasn't allowed to have just made me better at what I can do because I still had the vision to be excellent and made it happen with less. 

Doyin

I do feel that as a black female creative there is a pressure that our work has to be pretty much impeccable to even get recognised by others. In any industry we decide to partake in, for me personally as someone who has been taking part in theatre for the longest.

 

To be considered as ‘good’ I always have to make my mark in any professional spaces I’m in, to justify my right in being in that particular space and show that I’m worthy enough of being given the opportunity. Lastly with not many people who look like us in these spaces, it’s as if you have to represent a whole demographic with your work. This can sometimes be a privilege but can also apply so much pressure because as creatives you make mistakes and learn. But as black female creative I feel like there isn’t time for that.

Beverley

At the moment I dont really see myself as a creative. However, what I will say is that: having all these ideas then being held back by the fact that you do not have near enough capital to fund it, is frustrating to say the least. Also, I feel that we are disheartened by the notion that there can only be one.

 

Many productions whether fashion, music or arts related, only usually feature one black girl. So we are left with the idea that we may have to all compete for the same role constantly, which is tiring.

 

And lastly, there is the idea, that many productions stick to, that black girls only have one personality type: loud and bubbly. We have to be comedic or sassy and if that isn’t our personality type then we are ‘not what they are looking for’.
 

Mel

As a black creative I definitely feel that I have to try ten times harder, this is only exaggerated by the fact I’m also female.

 

Being an upcoming stylist has its obstacles, you have to make sure you stay true to your sense of style but constantly have people criticising that you dress ‘weird for a black girl’. When you try and put yourself out there for gigs there’s a tendency that you’re dismissed or just seen as average; so your portfolio has to be bigger and better than the rest.

 

This is also the case when it comes to blogging in music, because there’s so many of us to be noticed as a black female I have to make sure my work is excellent and above the rest by a mile. It gets tiring but really it’s a great motivator and way to ensure your work is consistent in quality. So yes I do believe we have to push harder but it’s rewarding.

Natalie

Being a black female creative is hard enough because we are already competing in a place where the media is already dominated by males.

 

To make it worse, being black makes it feel like you have to work even harder to make sure your work gets noticed as much as your white counterparts. It’s important to make your mark because you want to stand out for doing something you are passionate about to show people that you are more than capable of doing just as well as anyone that is of a different race than you.

Femi Bello

As a black woman it is apparent to me that I may have to work harder to break into the spaces I want to, although I do not like to fixate on it.

 

I think the discussion of how being black and being a woman impacts the creative industry (and vice versa) is one that still needs to be had but when it comes to producing my work I only strive to be my best possible self.

 

If particularly, being a black woman will negatively impact how people treat or view me then I know it’s a reflection of them and their upbringing, not me and my creativity. It’s not as easy to single out whether being a black woman would be the determining variable of the slowing of my success but all I can do is work my hardest, leave the rest to God and inspire others to do the same. 

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