2020 was a tumultuous year for many. In the midst of a global pandemic, growing unemployment and ever-present lockdowns, the unpredictable year was one of difficulty for millions across the globe.
But with uncertainty can sometimes come an opportunity for change and thus, growth – and there were many Black girls across the world who made major moves in 2020 and are continuing to flourish as they hone in on their craft, create new businesses and provide inspiration for many.
Whether it’s social media or fashion, literature to music, Black girls are pressing forward in all industries and we’ve listed some of the women you should definitely watch out for in 2021 and beyond:
The rising model has made waves across social media, for her style, social media savvy and growing modelling career. As the founder of her own brand EvssTheBrand which launches soon and The Eva Apio Foundation – an organisation that “responds and caters to the needs of Ugandan youth & provide positive lifestyles through sports and healthy living” – the model and philanthropist is definitely prized for great things.
Lashana Lynch has been making moves in the British television and film scene for years, having starred in ‘The Bill’, ‘Bulletproof’, ‘Doctors’ and the blockbuster ‘Captain Marvel’. But in 2020, she became a notable name after it was revealed that she’d be the first Black female 007 and star in the new Bond film ‘No Time To Die’ – a move which caused a flurry of discussion, excitement and criticism from some.
With the film premiering this April and the recent announcement that Lashana will play Miss Honey in the upcoming musical adaptation of Matilda, there is no doubt that we’ll be seeing more and more of the rising star.
Bree Runway is always one to watch. From her consistency to her creativity, the singer continues to amaze new and old fans while also providing representation for other Black women to share her spotlight with – be it her background dancers to collaborations with Yung Baby Tate to the legendary Missy Elliott.
She’s one of the most exciting artists to emerge from the UK and is poised for worldwide stardom – check out her most recent project 2000AND4EVA for reference!
The 21-year-old author is prepping to publish one of the biggest books for 2021 ‘Ace of Spades’ – a thrilling novel following two students and their struggles against an anonymous bully. As someone who grew up dreaming of writing books, Faridah’s accomplishment is a reminder to never stop believing in yourself. Be sure to pick up a copy in June 2021!
Melissa Reanne Johnson
The influencer space is always evolving, but one person that is certainly worth watching is Melissa Reanne Johnson. The fashion stylist that has amassed over 25,000 followers combines luxe minimalist style with affordable brands and is sure to be one of the go-to Black British style influencers for 2021.
As a Black plus-size high fashion model, Precious Lee is occupying a space which was once limited and is becoming known as one of the rising models to watch. From appearing in Versace’s spring/summer 2021 campaign, covering Vogue Italia and featuring in editorials for V Magazine to Vogue US, prepare to see Precious on many billboards and magazine covers to come.
South-East London rapper Enny came through with the Black girl-anthem for 2020 with ‘Peng Black Girls,’ displaying her lyrical prowess and talent for all to see. With all eyes on what she does next, we are sure to see a lot more from Enny this year.
Toni Tone is known for her words of encouragement and perspectives on relationships which she shares across social media – and now she is putting it all into her own book to be published in October 2021.
The writer and public speaker’s debut book ‘I Wish I Knew This Earlier’, will cover navigating relationships, understanding your worth and avoiding common mistakes and is sure to be popular among her legions of her supporters.
2020 was a year of immense growth for fashion designer MaryAnn Msengi. As the founder of Farai London – the popular brand worn by the likes of Megan Thee Stallion to Jourdan Dunn – she has created a brand which appeals to women of all shapes and is a must-have for it girls everywhere – and it’s not even a year old yet.
Elsa Majimbo is everyone’s favourite satirical IG commentator known for her signature shades and crisp-eating ways. The Kenyan comedian won the hearts of many during a particularly tough year and continues to provide laughs for us all while flourishing in her own career, having been voted GQ’s Entertainer of the Year to landing a campaign with Fenty Beauty.
Years after starting ‘The Zeze Millz’ show, the MOBO-nominated presenter continues to grow her platform and is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable Black British commentators online. Carving out her own platform and being unapologetically her has got Zeze this far and is sure to continue in 2021.