( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Black-owned Talent Agencies Unite to Form Black Agent Network for Representation
ENSPIRE Contributor: Octavia Johnson
TheFstate, Makena’s Talent Agency, and The Jackson Agency, partnered to form the Black Agents Network (BAN). BAN provides a centralized network of Black-owned talent agencies so talent, advertisers, producers, and studios can easily fulfill their diversity and inclusion pledge. BAN will serve as a virtual directory of vetted Black-owned talent agencies thereby ensuring our entertainment community has the support it needs.
With consistent growth in entertainment as it pertains to Black professionals, around 4 percent of key decision-makers in the content creation arena are Black. Combined with the coded language used by corporations as it pertains to finding “qualified talent pools,” it’s important that the leaders in independent entertainment are stepping up and creating a community.
“With over 400 years of disparity and with intentional roadblocks being put in place for the detriment of BIPOC we have been successful in creating global contributions and advancements in multiple industries that benefit society as a whole. How much further along would the world be if we used the very same effort in support of BIPOC rather than a hindrance?” said Ezra Jones of theFstate.
Advertisers issued best practices for working with Black media professionals. Media Mogul Byron Allen hosted a webinar through Cynopsis entitled, “Black Owned Media Matters,” and celebrities echoed the need for support of the Black community on social media. However, it seems like actionable resources are slow to come. Not to mention, Black talent agency owners have been completely left out of the discussion. “We believe our people perish for lack of knowledge and misrepresentation. Having a visionary and being able to work with one another, is vital to our individual success. Teamwork makes the dream work,” said Diamond Makena of Makena’s Talent Agency.
“With the current state of affairs in America, it is vital that Black-owned businesses lend unequivocal support to one another. The Black Agent Network allows all BIPOC owners of their Talent Agencies to have an interactive community of support and resources for best business practices,” said Tiauna Jackson of The Jackson Agency.
The agency, theFstate, represents Black editorial models, diverse creative artists, gender fluid and neutral brands, and Black celebrities; the millennial and next-generation fashion, music, and art icons. Established in Los Angeles and family owned, Makena’s Talent Agency was created to build a platform for talent in booking clients for diverse television shows. Jackson Agency, founded in 2014, saw a need for underrepresented artists to be given a voice through representation after being denied opportunities based on an aversion to diversity.
To find a Black Agent for representation, or to join the network, please visit blackagentsnetwork.com.