100 Black Innovators in 10 Days (DAY 3: Producers)

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June 23, 2020

Welcome to 100 Black Innovators in 10 Days, a campaign aiming to showcase the work, voices, and impact that these innovators have had throughout history. Today we are featuring the work of 10 Black Producers. These 10 creatives were essential in developing, planning, and elevating Black stories and experiences to screens around the world.


Shonda RhimesShonda Rhimes (1970 - )

Shonda Rhimes is an American television writer, showrunner, producer and director. She is the first African American woman to create and executive produce a Top 10 network series—the medical drama Grey's Anatomy. She is also the creator of Private Practice, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.





Tyler PerryTyler Perry (1969 - )

Tyler Perry is a world-renowned producer, director, actor, screenwriter, playwright, author, songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He has created 17 feature films, 20 stage plays, seven television shows, a New York Times bestselling book.






Oprah WinfreyOprah Winfrey (1954 - )

Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, actress, television producer, media executive, and billionaire philanthropist. She’s best known for being the host of her own talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 seasons and for her own TV network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).





Ava DuVernayAva DuVernay (1972 - )

Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy award nominee Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical drama SELMA, the criminal justice documentary 13TH and Disney’s A WRINKLE IN TIME, which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history.





John SingeltonJohn Singleton (1968 - 2019)

John Daniel Singleton was an American film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He was best known for directing Boyz n the Hood, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming the first African-American to earn the distinction.





Spike LeeSpike Lee (1957 - )

Writer, director, actor, producer, author, and educator, Spike Lee is widely regarded as one of the premier African-American filmmakers who helped revolutionize Modern Black Cinema. His production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, has produced more than 35 films since 1983.






Lee DanielsLee Daniels (1959 - )

Lee Daniels is an American film and television writer, director, and producer. He produced Monster's Ball, directed Precious, and he directed The Butler. He is also a co-creator, executive producer, and director of the television series Empire and Star.






Lena WaitheLena Waithe (1984 - )

Lena Waithe is an American actress, producer, and screenwriter, best known for her role as Denise on the 2015 Netflix series, Master of None. Waithe made history at the 2017 Emmys when she won an award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series on Master of None, becoming the first black woman to do so.






Ice CubeIce Cube (1969 - )

O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson is a rapper turned actor-producer with Hollywood staying power. While best known for creating his widely popular Friday trilogy, Jackson wanted to give younger fans family-friendly movies. The devoted husband and father of four produced Are We There Yet?, which critics panned but went on to gross $97.9 million worldwide in box office receipts. The sequel, Are We Done Yet?, grossed $58.4 million worldwide.





Ryan CooglerRyan Coogler (1986 - )

Ryan Kyle Coogler is a film director, producer, and screenwriter. His first feature film, Fruitvale Station, won the top audience and grand jury awards in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He has since co-written and directed the seventh film in the Rocky series, Creed, and the Marvel film Black Panther, the latter of which broke numerous box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time by a black director.





Want to learn more? Stay tuned as we highlight 100 black innovators from a wide range of fields. We hope you feel inspired by the accomplishments of these immensely talented individuals.


In case you missed it, check out the other innovators we have highlighted so far: