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In the midst of ongoing racial inequity and gender bias in Hollywood, it’s of the utmost importance to champion the trajectories of Black actresses excelling at the art of storytelling.

BOSSIP's Bubbling Black Actresses

Source: Jon Kopaloff /Mike Marsland/ WireImage/ Daniele Venturelli Victoria Sirakova / Getty

As Black women continue to light up screens with their skillset, star quality, and production credits, creatives are speaking openly about the entertainment industry and the inclusion issues that plague it.

Oprah previously noted that she dissolved the word “diversity” for “inclusion” because the latter articulates what melanin magic makers truly want; “A seat at the table where the decisions are being made.”

Viola Davis echoed that thought to Vanity Fair and explained that younger “faceless” Black actresses are fighting to be seen in a business where opportunities to “pop” are lacking.

 “Fabulous white actresses (who have had) a wonderful role for each stage of their lives, that brought them to the stage they are now. We can’t say that for many actors of color.”

Nia Long also agreed that there’s a scarcity of roles for Black women, but they lean on sisterhood as they strive for visibility despite their doubly marginalized existence.

“We are our own union for our own mission. We all know that we are on the front lines representing Black art at the end of the day, which ends up being pop culture and we understand we are more powerful when we stand together.”

Tinseltown might (still) be struggling to see our on-screen stunners, but that’s not a problem we share.

As Women’s History Month continues, BOSSIP is shining a spotlight on sistas expertly introducing audiences to the intricacies of their characters.


Last year, we highlighted luminaries like Coco Jones, Shoniqua Shandai, and Chanté Adams, this year, we’re adding more ladies to our list.

In no particular order, here’s BOSSIP’s Bubbling Black Actresses of 2023.

Mila Davis-Kent’s ‘Creed’ Debut Warmed Spirits & Sparked A “Black Deaf Girl Magic” Buzz

If you’ve seen the latest installment of the Creed franchise, Creed III, you undoubtedly had your heart warmed by one of, if not the only, bright spot in an otherwise dark film.

Mila Davis Kent

Source: Robyn Beck/AFP / Getty

Mila Davis-Kent plays Adonis and Bianca’s daughter Amara and it’s damn near impossible not to smile every time she is on the screen. While the precocious 10-year-old has legit acting chops, her character was not completely an act. Davis-Kent is deaf and part of what makes her performance so endearing is the way in which she emotes her lines using American Sign Language (ASL). Moreover, the way Mila interacts with on-screen parents (and Jonathan Majors in one scene) creates a loving family dynamic that only her character could have brought to the table in a natural and believable way. She’s truly a force to be reckoned with and her Instagram bio “Black Deaf Girl Magic” couldn’t be more fitting.

Creed III marks Mila’s first film gig as she was cast after an exhaustive search for a young actress who could hang with the powerhouse of talent that be alongside her on screen. With all due respect, one could easily argue that she was one of the top three actors in the movie. Argue about that amongst yourselves. It’s not lost on Mila that this opportunity to represent the deaf community and young Black deaf girls specifically is the opportunity of a lifetime and one that she cherishes deeply.

MGM Studios Presents CREED III HBCU Fan Screening In Atlanta

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

She recently gave an interview to Variety where she signed;

“Inclusivity is so important. Because of this movie, we now have an opportunity to show the Deaf community, and I feel so proud to be a part of that. I want to really recognize Michael B. Jordan for allowing us to have this opportunity and to showcase our Deaf community because it’s something I love so so much.”

This isn’t just a matter of “representation.”

The deaf community is not considered in the way that they should be and Mila is hopeful that her character’s inclusion in a film as big as Creed III will make filmmakers, studios, and theater companies address hearing-impaired people with more respect and dignity.

“I want more movies to have captioning,” she signed. “So many times, we want to go to the movies, and there’s no captions; we end up purchasing a ticket, and then we have to buy or get a device that has a little screen that we have to hold in our chair or near a cup holder, look at the screen and then look back at the movie. It can be really time-consuming and kind of hard.”


We couldn’t possibly be more confident that Mila’s advocacy will have an effect on the film business to the point that one day, no one will ever be looking down at a little screen and everyone will be looking up at her on the big screen.

—jason lee

Ralph Lauren x Creed III Launch

Source: Joe Scarnici / Getty


Luminary Loren Lott Is Booked, Busy & Blessed

Emerging star Loren Lott is a refreshing blend of beauty and class with undeniable talent that elevates every project she’s attached to as one of Hollywood’s brightest newcomers.

Loren Lott

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty

Hailing from San Diego, California, Lott was born a star who lined up stuffed animals, toys, and her twin brother at the bottom of her tree house for grand performances.

At 13, she told her mother Sharian Lott that the only gift she wanted was a subscription to Backstage.com so she could start submitting herself for auditions.

Hundreds of bold messages later, Lott finally got an audition in Hollywood along with a manager a month later.

After pursuing her dreams in California for several years, Loren moved to Atlanta where she received a BA in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Radio/Tv/Film from Clark Atlanta University.

While in “Black Hollywood,” Loren appeared in Shrek The Musical and several TV series including Tales, Greenleaf, The Game, The Young And The Restless, and more.

Daytime's #1 Drama "The Young And The Restless" Celebrates 50 Years

Source: Victoria Sirakova / Getty

She also made it to the Top 16 in Season 14 of America Idol before starting her higher theatre career, landing the role of Gladys Night in Motown: The Musical on the National tour as well as the Broadway company in New York.

Fast-forward to 2022 when Lott starred in CBC/BET+ series The Porter highlighting the creation of the Black workers union called The Porter.

Set in the roaring 1920s, The Porter follows the real-life journeys of an ensemble of characters who hustle, dream, cross borders, and pursue their ambitions in the fight for liberation on and off the railways that crossed North America.

Launch Event For 'The Porter' On BET+

Source: Phillip Faraone / Getty

Most recently, she landed a starring role in the upcoming Gospel Musical Praise This which follows aspiring music superstar Sam (Chloe Bailey) who joins an underdog Atlanta choir praise team in the leads up to the national competition.

Directed by Tina Gordon, the buzzy film also stars comedian Druski, Grammy-nominated rapper Quavo, Grammy nominee Tristan Mack Wilds, Birgundi Baker, Loren Lott, Kiara Iman Heffner, Ilario Grant, Crystal Hayslett, Cocoa Brown, Vanessa Fraction, and Grammy-nominated Gospel stars Jekalyn Carr and Koryn Hawthorne.

Aside from professional acting, Lott enjoys connecting with fans through engaging internet content that’s racked up millions of views across her social media platforms.

Loren considers herself very blessed to be booked and busy with a supportive family willing to make sacrifices for her dreams.

“I was very blessed to be raised by my mom and grandmother who painted my world Black and successful,” said Lott in an interview with 21Ninety.

Black for me was elite and educated. The richest people that I knew were Black. Every doll I had was Black. Every painting in my house was Black, beauty to me was Black. So for me when someone didn’t see that I just knew that they were ignorant.

So I just chopped them off to being ignorant. My mother made it very clear that my skin was chosen by God and if someone has a problem with it they actually have a problem with God not me because God wanted me to be this color he wants everybody to be how they are.”

Ultimately, she wants to be a Disney Princess and superhero who leaves a lasting legacy that inspires the next generation.

—alex ford


Make No Mistake, Misogynoir Can’t Stop Danielle Deadwyler

This Bubbling Black actress is unstoppable, even if Hollywood would like you to think otherwise.

Danielle Deadwyler

Source: Arturo Holmes/WireImage / Getty

Danielle Deadwyler started her career onstage in Atlanta, most notably appearing in the 2009 production of For Colored Girls. She went on to make her screen debut in the 2012 drama film A Cross to Bear before acting in hit series including P-Valley, Station Eleven, and From Scratch.

Deadwyler’s star really started to rise once she garnered critical acclaim for starring in the western film The Harder They Fall and Till in 2022. Her portrayal of Mamie Till was “gut-wrenching and utterly wrecked her” and it earned her the Gotham Independent Film Award for Outstanding Lead Performance along with BAFTA Award, Critics’ Choice Movie Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.

It did not, however, garner her an Oscar nomination, something social media and Deadwyler knew was outrageous. The actress made it plain that misogynoir was behind it.

“We’re talking about people who perhaps chose not to see the film — we’re talking about misogynoir — like it comes in all kinds of ways, whether it’s direct or indirect,” said Deadwyler on an episode of the “Kermode & Mayo’s Take” podcast. “It impacts who we are.”

“I think the question is more on people who are living in whiteness, white people’s assessment of the spaces they are privileged by,” added Deadwyler. “We’ve seen it exist in a governmental capacity — it can exist on a societal capacity, be it global or national.”


Source: MICHAEL TRAN / Getty

Now, Danielle is working on balancing life as an artist and as a mother, admitting that she’s been gravitating toward different roles since welcoming her son.

“Spiritually, my body stopped doing things in a certain way. I couldn’t move or dance in the same way. It’s called for an understanding of strength at a different tone, at a different pace,” she told The New Yorker in an interview in February 2023. “I look a certain way to people, but I’m much older than they presume. The older my son gets, the more I know he’s capable of taking care of himself. The responsibility shifts to something much more intellectual than trying to rear him, which is rearing myself at the same time. I’m shifting the kinds of roles I take in general. It’s all art, right?”

Next up on the horizon, Deadwyler has joined Taron Egerton and Jason Bateman in the cast of the Netflix and Amblin Partners film Carry-On. The actress has also signed on to star alongside Aldis Hodge and his brother, Edwin Hodge, in the sci-fi thriller Parallel, from director Kourosh Ahari. The film is a remake of Lei Zheng’s award-winning Chinese feature and follows the journey of Vanessa (played by Deadwyler), a grief-stricken woman who mysteriously finds herself navigating between parallel spaces.

From stage to screen, Danielle Deadwyler is making her mark on the entertainment industry, and she’s not slowing down any time soon.

—rebecah jacobs

2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Social Crops

Source: Amy Sussman / Getty

‘Ironheart’ Actress Dominique Thorne Is Making Magic With Marvel

Dominique Thorne is claiming her place in Hollywood and proving pressure makes diamonds because hers will shine in any situation.

Dominque Thorne

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty

Thorne, 25, is poised to become one of the next biggest stars in Hollywood in a career that started in the spotlight and continues to elevate. The Brooklyn native started her acting career appearing in various productions during her time at NYC’s Professional Performing Arts High School.

In 2015 she proved she was on the rise when she was named a National Young Arts Winner for Spoken Theater. In case anyone didn’t get the message, the same year she also won the prestigious United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts award. This is decided by the White House Commission which chooses a young woman and man from each state who demonstrate community service, artistic excellence, and leadership.

In 2018 Thorne jumped to the big screen making her feature film debut in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. In the film, she played the role of Sheila Hunt the younger sister of Alzono “Fonny” Hunt played by Stephan James.

2023 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards - Red Carpet

Source: Arnold Turner / Getty

The film went on to snag several awards and accolades even landing on the National Board of Review’s Top Ten Films of 2018. Dominique would return in 2021 alongside Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield in Judas and the Black Messiah. The film was executive produced by Ryan Coogler and would foreshadow their upcoming future together. It was recently revealed that the bubbling Black actress was the runner-up in the casting for Marvel’s Shuri in the original Black Panther (2018).

However, she would go on to be cast as Marvel’s cinematic version of Riri Williams aka Ironheart in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, a role that’s been buzzing with praise from fans.

This role also secured her very own Disney+ show and an appearance in Secret Wars opposite Samuel L. Jackson. Riri Williams will also return to the big screen for Marvel in its upcoming Avengers films and possibly Armor Wars. In a short time, Thorne has secured her future on the big screen and in Hollywood. If her hilarious natural depiction of Riri Williams is a sign of what’s to come, you might as pull up a chair to watch because she won’t be going anywhere for a while.

—noah williams

Los Angeles Premiere Of Prime Video's "Swarm" - Arrivals

Source: Rodin Eckenroth / Getty


Halle Bailey’s Blossoming Into An Enchanting Ariel & We’re Happy To Be Part Of Her World

After much anticipation, Halle Bailey’s debut as Disney’s spellbound sea princess is almost here and we’re ready for the aquatic adventure.

Halle Bailey

Source: Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb / Getty


On May 26, the songstress turned actress, 22, will become the first Black woman to play a live-action Disney princess in The Little Mermaid despite detractors who’ve taken umbrage with Ariel getting a melanated makeover.

For the record, the film’s director Rob Marshall confirmed that there was “no agenda” to casting Bailey as they “saw everybody and every ethnicity” for auditions. The multihyphenate was just simply the best.

“As a Black person, you just expect it and it’s not really a shock anymore,” Bailey told The Face about her casting’s reacistion reactions. “When [Chlöe and I] first signed to Parkwood, [Beyoncé] was always like: ​’I never read my comments. Don’t ever read the comments.’ Honestly, when the teaser came out, I was at the D23 Expo and I was so happy. I didn’t see any of the negativity.”

“I know people are like: ​’It’s not about race.’ But now that I’m her…People don’t understand that when you’re Black there’s this whole other community,” she added. “It’s so important for us to see ourselves.”

Poised and proud to be in her position, Bailey could turn Hollywood on its head as she gives viewers a more “nuanced” take on the Ariel of 1989.

“I’m really excited for my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy,” the Bailey sister told Edition Magazine. “It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life, and what she wants.”

“As women we are amazing, we are independent, we are modern, we are everything and above,” she added. “And I’m glad that Disney is updating some of those themes.”

After reintroducing the world to King Triton’s teen, Bailey will be far from finished dazzling audiences.

In December she’ll star as Nettie in The Color Purple that’s being produced by two legends; Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey. Spielberg of course directed the 1985 film of the same name that Winfrey starred in and Danielle Brooks and Fantasia Barrino star alongside Bailey as Sofia and Celie, respectively.

 “I pinch myself every day on that set… to be a part of such a historic film that we’ve all known growing up,” she told ET about the film.

“It’s like, ‘Wow, what can we do to make this even greater than it already is?'” she added. “Because it’s such an amazing base, and I’m just grateful to be part of the whole project.”

95th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

And for fans pining to hear Airel’s angelic return to music, the songstress has confirmed that she and her sister Chlöe will reunite as Chloe x Halle and release new music as a follow-up to their Grammy-nominated albums “The Kids Are Alright” and “Ungodly Hour.”

“My sister is my backbone,” Bailey told Variety in a cover story. “She’s my best friend. She’s my everything. When I write with her, it’s different than when I’m just alone. When we sing together, I feel differently than when I’m just singing by myself.”

2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals

Source: Jon Kopaloff / Getty


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