The purity of Jennifer Johns’ voice is never lost within her music. This singer and artist is Oakland born and raised and that Bay Area swagger is present as she performs. Her music is influenced by the African diaspora, hip hop and soul. More than just an entertainer her music speaks to social justice causes and she uses her talent to bring awareness to the issues closest to her heart. It is this commitment to

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From the moment we found out about the New Orleans jazz/folk band, Tank and the Bangas, we knew that they needed to be featured as the Next Big Thing. Tank and the Bangas' music is high energy and based off the poetry of lead singer and magnetic on stage personality Tarriona "Tank" Ball. Their music is mesmerizing and the sonic embodiment of the New Orleans music scene. While describing the music, Next Big Thing host,

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Danielle Pinnock's one woman show Body/Courage began as a Master's dissertation - a documentary theater piece. It turned into something much bigger than that. Body/Courage took Danielle from the Birmingham School of Acting in the UK to New York where she won "Best Actress" at the Strawberry Theater Festival and finally to Chicago.Since moving to Chicago Danielle Pinnock has understudied at the Goodman Theatre, acted in shows at Profiles Theatre and have had the amazing

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Tahir Jetter is an exciting up and coming filmmaker. Tahir started getting buzz after his promising short film "Close", he caught the attention of our favorite Awkward Black Girl, Issa Rae. Issa helped push Tahir to the next level by included his web series "Hard Times" in her Color Creative initiative. This young filmmakers newest project is making waves as well, Occasionally Dating Black Women is an adaptation of a popular blog with the blog's creator

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Moses Sumney is based in LA but quickly taking the world by storm. His stirring voice is paired with production unique to Grizzly Bear member Chris Taylor's independent Terrible Records. This singer whose voice is reminiscent of Maxwell yet experimental instrumentation brings to mind James Blake is wholly unique. Moses Sumney has a range sitting in that popular falsetto range coupled with unforgettable musicality. Label mate Solange had Moses play at her exclusive party during Essence

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Buzzfeed video contributor Quinta Brunson is smart and funny. Her videos never fail to make us laugh with their witty observations on real life. Shortly her first video "Girl Who's Never Been On a Nice Date" went viral, Quinta started working for Buzzfeed and began turning out consistently hilarious videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op2pK_w8_oY This funny lady is taking Buzzfeed videos to an entirely new level. With her quick witted, effortless and expressive performances, we can see easily

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There has been a movement for more diverse books and one person who has answered the call is author Daniel Jose Older. This Buzzfeed contributor also writes science fiction and fantasy books with diverse characters and urban fantasy written with the same smart tone as his prominent Twitter account, we are excited to introduce you to this author and hope that you can get lost in the Brooklyn of his mind. Daniel Jose Older is

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Lena Waithe is writing about the Black experience in a way that we respect, showing the diversity between Black millennials and giving opportunities to young actors of color, like our past favorite Ashley Blaine Featherson. She’s been referred to as the “Black Lena Dunham” but she is so much more than that. Talented, smart and about to blow up, Lena Waithe is the Next Big

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Writer, poet, performer and activist Joshua Merchant is known for his powerful and emotional writing. He has been forcing crowds to sit up and pay attention since youth, being named the 2011 Youth Speaks champion and Berkeley’s youngest representative for the Individual World Poetry Slam. Joshua now works with Youth Speaks and has performed poetry for The Bigger Project in the fight against Type 2 diabetes as well as the Off/Page project for the short

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Tona Brown is an inspiring figure in many different ways, an accomplished violinist and mezzo-soprano recently made headlines becoming the first trans person to perform for a sitting president as well as the first trans person of color to perform at Carnegie Hall. As evidenced by the title “From Stonewall to Carnegie Hall” this artist doesn’t shy away from activism either, she was recently profiled in The Root as a transgender women using her visibility

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