Independent filmmaker and music video director Terence Nance from a family of artists in Dallas, TX who is now based in Brooklyn. Terence’s first feature-length film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered at Sundance and won the 2012 Gotham Award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.” In addition to this work as an independent filmmaker, Terence also directs music videos, creates art installations, and performs music under the name Terence Etc.

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Renaissance man, Michael Wayne Turner III, is an award winning writer, poet, spoken word artist, actor, and educator. Taking on the starring role in Chinaka Hodge's Chasing Mehserle, Turner plays Watts a young man who doesn't feel safe in the world, hasn't gone past his Oakland stoop since the Rodney King beating and is obsessed with the Bart officer who killed Oscar Grant, Johannes Mehserle. The play is reminiscent of many of the anxieties felt

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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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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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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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If Janelle Monae says you’re a person to watch, who are we to argue? Jidenna is climbing the charts with his single “Classic Man” but this Wondaland star is also climbing his way into our hearts. Born to an American mother and Nigerian father, Jidenna graduated from Stanford before signing to Wondaland. Talent, style and smarts it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why Jidenna is the #NextBigThing https://youtu.be/URiDdlAS6ls Jidenna - Classic Man remix

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