Tracing the Evolution of Black Achievement in the Arts and Entertainment

The arts and entertainment industry is one of the leading economic sectors worldwide. With a strong influence on both culture and economy, the industry is made up of a diverse set of creatives who fuel not only the sector’s products, but the experience of life itself. Within this success, much of the development of contemporary art and entertainment can be attributed to the influence, contribution 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 the story of black talent in the global world arts and entertainment industry. The meeting marks the celebration of #BlackExcellence and features a comprehensive program of workshops, seminars, networking functions and presentations aimed at catalyzing new cross-disciplinary collaborations.

Black creatives have played an integral role in shaping the global arts and entertainment space. Beginning with the Harlem Renaissance in the US from the 1920s to the 1930s, the movement represented an intellectual and cultural revival of black magic, literature, music, dance, fashion and scholarship, and laid the groundwork from which much of modern creativity has sprung . More than 100 years later, the Black arts and entertainment community has grown into one that connects the world, transcends the boundaries of space and time, creates economic opportunity, and promotes the narratives of Black people around the world.

From a literary perspective, black authors have provided guidance on the complexities, achievements, and challenges of the lived black experience. Works by luminaries such as Toni Morrison, American writer and Nobel Prize winner; Maya Angelou, famous poet and writer; Langston Hughes, winner of the Harmon Gold Medal for Literature; and many others represent some of the most influential contributions of all time. Meanwhile, black visual artists are taking center stage in the global art movement. Influential artists include John Koenakife Moll, a 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; Cheri Samba, a renowned contemporary artist from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Jean-Michel Basquiat, an American neo-expressionist artist who challenged traditional power structures and systemic racism; and Yinka Shonibare, a British-Nigerian artist specializing in traditional African wax print fabrics, among others.

Black excellence in the 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 are responsible for innovating the ebb and flow of composition and performance worldwide and are widely credited with inventing the gospel, rock and roll, blues, jazz, reggae, house, hip-hop and afrobeat genres. Transcending the boundaries of entertainment, music serves as a tool to share stories, address social issues, and drive transformative change, and several musicians are considered pioneers in this regard. Among them are Ella Fitzgerald, called 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 main progenitor of funk music; and Tina Turner, dubbed the “Queen of Rock and Roll,” among many others.

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

These commercials not only provided audiences with poignant storylines and unforgettable characters, but also opened doors for the next generation of black directors and actors to hit the scene. GBIS serves to highlight the contributions, achievements and influence of black talent and their continued efforts to drive inspiration, engagement and collaboration in their respective fields. The meeting celebrates these successes while identifying new opportunities for growth and connecting professionals from different 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 about unity, collaboration and empowerment. Taking place in Dubai on 27 February 2024, GBIS is an event not to be missed. To ensure your participation, register now at

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

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