The need for more African-American representation in entertaiment

Jordyn Bew, Entertainment Editor

In the past decade, we have seen a larger push from the African American community for the inclusion of black point of views in mainstream media. We are now seeing evidence of black cultural contributions in music, television, and film more than ever before. While the entertainment industry has certainly come a long way, there is still a need for more representation for people of color.
Representation in media is essential. We all like to feel that we can relate to something or someone. Minorities realize, supported by research, that the media influences not only how others view them, but even how they view themselves. Although public opinion may be divided about whether the entertainment industry is doing enough to represent all types of people, Joliet West student, Mareon Massey, said that feeling represented is “empowering.”
One of the biggest contributions that black culture has cultivated is through R&B, Hip Hop, and Rap with music artists like Drake, Beyoncé, Migos, and Cardi B. Hip Hop and Rap music have always reflected the daily life of black people in this country, from the struggles to the successes. Music is just one of many examples of how black culture has, and will continue to, build bridges with other cultures.
Television and movies have seen a large transformation, with more all black casts featured than ever before. Shows like How to Get Away With Murder, This is Us, Blackish, Grownish, and Scandal are more recent examples of breaking through barriers of casting black leads in television. If movies like A Wrinkle in Time and Marvel’s Black Panther are any indication of trends, they show that entertainment with a predominately multicultural cast can not only survive, but thrive.
It is obvious that strives towards more inclusion in the entertainment industry have been made. You see more people of color in all industries now more than ever. There are still inequalities regarding pay, casting roles, and opportunities but some progress is better than none. During this month, we should uplift and praise the black people in the entertainment industry and advocate for more inclusion.