10 of the Most Admirable Black Women of the Past Year

Last year was a great year for a lot of women of color in different industries. Cardi B wasn't the only one on her grind. I mean, there was an insane amount of glow up going on. This past year has been one when many barriers were broken, history was made and women are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve for their contributions to society. 


In honor of International Women's Day, Creative Smart Girl is putting the spotlight on some of our favorite shining stars of the past year: 


  • Issa Rae - The Awkward Black Girl has set the tone for black acting, entrepreneurship and leadership in entertainment. Starting out on YouTube, Issa created a platform for herself and others like her. It worked and it worked well. Now we’re two seasons in of Insecure on HBO.. Honey, i’m waiting for the third season with my hand on my hips!  

  • Yvonne Orji - Holly! Since the debut of Insecure, this woman hasn’t stopped. Her character on the show is probably one of my favorites. She is ME, I can relate to Holly and not only that, I can relate to her real life as well. Yvonne is a God fearing woman on the rise who often speaks of her journey as she waits for the right now. Homegirl is getting her coins! She gets the admirable award for standing her ground, acting her ass off, and showing love to her Nigerian roots.

  • Lena Waithe - The Chicago Native put on her producer hat and won an emmy for her show on Showtime called The Chi. I mean, do I have to list any other accomplishments? She has co signs from many of the greats including Common, Kanye, Chance The Rapper, and so many more in the entertainment industry.


RELATED: Living & Breathing #BlackGirlMagic: 5 Tips To Feeding A Better You


  • Miss Diddy LA - Who else is putting on for California the way Miss Diddy is? I mean female. I mean pioneer. I mean go getter! Who?! Miss Diddy is a Los Angeles native building her brand and taking names all over the globe. I admire her for changing the face of entertainment promotion and branding. Women have ideas too! Thank You Miss Diddy for opening up the path for us with vision as well.
  • Karen Civil - There is none other than Miss Karen Civil reached my admirable list because it's quite obviously the woman is making moves that you wouldn’t think feasible. I mean we know everything is possible.  I came up with the hashtag #WeCareForKaren because she is a missile in the entertainment industry. Karen has built some of the most timeless brands in music and fashion.

  • Ava Duvernay - I mean where do I start? Creating some of the best films and visuals in 2017, bringing A Wrinkle In Time into 2018 with everyone’s imagination. In recent news, Ava took kids from Compton to see her newest film. Although the city does not a local movie theater, Duvernay made it happen. We are in awe of the wonders of this woman! She is a real life SHEro!

  • Myleik Teele - If you haven’t heard of the hashtag #MyTaughtYou then you’re probably under a rock. I mean, if you’re a blogger or possess any type of girl power. Myleik has been building her brand for some years now. Her resume is pretty impressive as a publicist and marketing goddess.

Teele began taking the same ideas she used for her clients to build her own brands starting with The Curl Box, #MyTaughtYou and her amazing podcast which is quite addicting to listen to. This Los Angeles native took her talents  to Atlanta where she’s living her best life!  She is one of the most admirable women in the industry because she is setting the standing for women in PR, Media and more.

  • Tiffany Haddish - Tiffany was the breakout star in last year's comedy, Girls Trip. Growing up in the system as a foster kid, she's had to work extremely hard for every opportunity and even take care of her siblings. Now, she's advocating for kid's in the system as a celebrity, closing major deals, presenting at the Oscars, and hosting SNL all while staying true to who she is. 


  • Solange Knowles - Solange is the reason why you cannot rush the process and trust that your time will come. After the release of her album A Seat at the Table in September 2016, she went on the win a Grammy for her hit song, Cranes in the Sky, a song she actually wrote years ago before it's release. Since then, Solange has been using her platform to speak on gender and racial issues in the industry. 


  • Tarana Burke - Tarana Burke is the known as the first woman to use Me too, before it became a popular hashtag. She shared her personal stories of sexual harassment and encourages others to come forward. For a while she wasn't given the credit for sparking the world wide social media movement, but is now getting the platform to help other survivors. 


Put these ladies on your watch list from here on out and watch how inspiring and amazing they are. Who do you admire?

By: Brittney Parker

Brittney Parker was also known as Miss Parker is a Native of Southern California. Brittney began her career as a model and host for Seventeen Magazine’s runway and promotional shows which opened the door to partnering opportunities with brands such as Macy’s, American Eagle and Aeropostale. She also began creating content on YouTube for MissParkerTV and other YouTube content creators. 

In August 2014, Miss Parker was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called  Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. The illness has given her a drive and desire to learn more about the disease, to bring awareness and find a cure. Currently, Miss Parker is curating a platform for young girls called Visionista University. Her plan is to work with other Visionistas within the entertainment industry and to help create opportunities for other young women who are Visionistas and need to focus on their vision.