“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like. That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.” — Beyoncé, September 2018 issue of Vogue.
Beyonce made history (again) by hiring the first African-American photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year existence. Atlanta native, Tyler Mitchell is one of the youngest photographers to be given the task. An A-list celebrity always graces the cover of the September issue, one of the most influential editorials of the year which dictates trends and attracts advertisers. Bey leveraged this iconic moment as an opportunity to put a young creative of color on to mainstream media. In the magazine she discussed her desire to open doors for talented young people just like legendary singers Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and others did for her when she first started her career. Queen Carter often uses her influence to give back to the Black community, as seen by her Formation Scholarship and other philanthropic efforts. However, her decision to have Mitchell capture this essential issue of Vogue moved the culture forward.
“There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter,” Bey says. “If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own.”
No matter what size audience you have, it’s important for content creators to go beyond celebrating this historical moment. Let’s use it inspiration to pull other black and brown creatives up as we rise — just like Bey did for Tyler Mitchell. Here are a few ways you can do that:
Find Your Tribe
We’re focused on creating a culture of collaboration, so we started a community to connect with other black and brown creatives, share opportunities and resources, tackle pressing topics and support each other. Join our Slack group here to be down with our team! Also consider joining professional organizations in your area, like ColorComm and AdColor. Expand your network so you can meet other multicultural creatives that you can support.
Show younger creatives the ropes
As you build your platform, put other people on. Tap your existing network to see if they know of young, energetic content creators who want to learn from and work with you. Leverage their creative ideas and hire them for projects to add fresh content to your brand and help them grow theirs.
Be the plug
Strategize ways to bring multicultural creatives in your network together. Consider hosting an event like a happy hour or brunch with a few dope people you know — have them bring a guest so you all can connect. Pour into others like Bey did with Tyler, and we guarantee you’ll get some blessings in return.