Entertainment

Tracking the Evolution of Black Excellence in Arts and Entertainment

todayJanuary 25, 2024 6

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The arts and entertainment industry represents one of the leading economic sectors worldwide. With a strong influence on both culture and economy, the industry is composed of a diverse slate of creatives that power not only the products of the sector, but also the experience of life itself. Within this success, much of the development of modern-day art and entertainment can be attributed to the influence, contributions and innovation of Black artists.

Taking place in Dubai on February 27, 2024, the third edition of the Global Black Impact Summit (GBIS) delves into the achievements of Black individuals and organizations across sectors, which could not be better illustrated than by the history of Black talent in the global arts and entertainment industry. The Summit marks a celebration of #BlackExcellence and features a comprehensive program of workshops, seminars, networking functions and presentations aimed at catalyzing new collaboration across disciplines.

Black creatives have played an integral part in shaping the global arts and entertainment space. Starting with the Harlem Renaissance in the US from the 1920s to 1930s, the movement represented an intellectual and cultural revival of Black art, literature, music, dance, fashion and scholarship, and laid the foundation from which much of modern creativity is derived. Over 100 years on, the Black arts and entertainment community has become one that connects the world, transcends the boundaries of space and time, creates economic opportunities and promotes the narratives of Black individuals worldwide.

From a literary perspective, Black authors have provided an in-roads to the complexities, achievements and challenges of the lived Black experience. Works by luminaries such as Toni Morrison, an American novelist and Nobel Prize-winning author; Maya Angelou, famous poet and author; Langston Hughes, Harmon Gold Medal winner for literature; and many more represent some of the most influential contributions of all time. Meanwhile, Black visual artists have been central to the global art movement. Influential artists include John Koenakeefe Mohl, South African artist and founder of the first school for Black artists in Sophiatown, Johannesburg; Norman Lewis, the only Black Abstract Expressionist of the first generation; Chéri Samba, renowned contemporary artist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Jean-Michel Basquiat, American neo-expressionist artist who challenged traditional power structures and systemic racism; and Yinka Shonibare, British-Nigerian artist specializing in traditional African wax print fabrics, among others.

Black excellence in arts and entertainment continues to be a force for change, enlightenment and inspiration. The achievements of Black creators in film and music, for example, have been instrumental in pushing the boundaries of storytelling. In music, Black creators have been responsible for innovations in the ebb and flow of composition and performance worldwide and are widely credited with the invention of gospel, rock and roll, blues, jazz, reggae, house, hip hop and afrobeat genres. Transcending the bounds of entertainment, music serves as a tool to share stories, address social concerns and drive transformative change, and several musicians are considered pioneers in this regard. These include Ella Fitzgerald, nicknamed the “Queen of Jazz”; Big Joe Turner, one of the most influential Black musicians of all time; Charlie Parker, the “father of modern jazz”; James Brown, the central progenitor of funk music; and Tina Turner, nicknamed the “Queen of Rock n’ Roll”, among many more. 

Meanwhile, the work of Black composers and actors in film and television continues to move audiences. From bringing fresh storylines to challenging racial stereotypes, Black filmmakers, directors and actors have made an indelible impact on the film industry. Directors such as Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay and Barry Jenkins, to name a few, have shaped the Black film industry, while actors such as Hattie McDaniel – the first Black person to win an Oscar – Angela Bassett, Sidney Poitier, Ethel Waters and more have demonstrated Black excellence within their craft to the highest degree.

These creatives have not only provided audiences with poignant storylines and unforgettable characters, but also opened doors for the next generation of Black filmmakers and actors to take the stage. The GBIS serves to highlight the contributions, achievements and influence of Black talent and their continued efforts to spur inspiration, engagement and collaboration within their respective fields. The Summit celebrates these successes, while identifying new opportunities for growth and connecting professionals from across industries.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of a global movement celebrating #BlackExcellence. Join the Global Black Impact Summit and take part in the conversation on unity, collaboration and empowerment. Taking place in Dubai on February 27, 2024, GBIS represents a not-to-be-missed event. To secure your participation, register now at www.GlobalBlackImpact.com.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Energy Capital&Power.

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