It’s a no-brainer that Black women are dominating the world one step at a time, so it’s a great time to give credit where it’s due. Especially in spaces that are usually run by men, it’s important that overlooked individuals are seen for their hard work. This is where Black Women Animate Studios have stepped in.
Black Women Animate Studios is an animation studio providing original content and production services to the industry’s top studios and production companies. Did we mention they were operating with mostly Black female talent? Their mission is to give Black women and non-binary individuals a safe space to work, create, and represent themselves.
Black Women Animate Studios collaborates with Cartoon Network every year for a boot camp program that hosts a number of panels and workshops for other animators. However, this year, they’ve decided to host their inaugural award show instead. The Black in Animation Awards Show highlights the amazing contributions Black women have made to the animation industry, thus far. Hosted by singer-songwriter and actress, Estelle, the awards show featured guests and honorees such as Bruce Smith, Anika Noni Rose, Sidney Clifton, Carole Holliday, and many more.
Although held virtually, it was an honorable award show that showcased the many talents of Black creatives. From CEOs to short film animators, the love and appreciation extended to everyone in attendance. Guests and honorees shared their stories of their journeys in the animation industry and their passion for what they do.
Lessons from the Black in Animation Awards Show.
“The Proud Family” reboot director, Latoya Raveneau, received the NextGen Leader Award. She spoke about her realization of her future and believing in herself.
“To all of the aspiring Black women artists, don’t let self-doubt be enough to stop you from moving forward,” said Raveneau. “Your path might surprise you; it’s not always an obvious one but as long as you’re willing to keep fighting and pushing yourself forward, you’ll get there.”
Other animation professionals shared their words of encouragement and their reasons for why they continue to do what they do. Their speeches ignited inspiration and appreciation for the work they’ve done for the next generation of animators. The program also showed their appreciation to the late Chadwick Boseman, who worked selflessly in the film industry despite his fight with cancer. Their tribute to Boseman consisted of a beautiful montage of clips from his most notable roles.
The last award was the Lifetime Achievement Award awarded to Carole Holliday. Holliday is known for her work in “A Goofy Movie”, “Tarzan” and “Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas”. She’s also the founder of Crowded Metro Films. Holliday spoke about her success and challenges the audience to be more than themselves in their area of work.
“There is a saying that ‘folks in the animation industry are actors with pencils’,” said Holliday. “If that’s true, you have to decide what type of actor will you be.”
Black Women Animate Studios did a terrific job with their inaugural Black in Animations Awards Show and we’re excited to see what’s next. You can watch the recap of the awards show and learn more about them here.