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As a writer, that’s your asset. That’s your asset. Being who you are. Your opinion, your POV, your perspective, that’s your asset. – Allen Maldonado

Shows like Atlanta, written by Donald Glover or Issa Rae’s Insecure, share a singular quality of putting out stories that cater and speak to the success and failures of Black millennials. They showcase the struggles of an aspiring artist or the beauty of an awkward black woman with natural hair as a lead character. They push boundaries on cultural narratives of what it’s like being Black. With the cast and writers’ room mostly Black, they exemplify and push young Black stories to the forefront of American television.

Photo: Atlanta/FX

Imagine television without these lived experiences and perspectives. It wouldn’t be a reflection of where we are in society both on a micro and macro level of creativity, but a regression of cultural diversity.

These creators are bold in sharing what is unique to them and seeing the value of their voices. Language, style, and inter-personal relationships are examples of how these writers use their voice to tackle truthful representation centered around Black people just trying to make the best out of each moment.

Photo: Instagram/ @giantstheseries

As a writer and storyteller, you have to believe your voice, your opinion, your perspective is the greatest asset you possess. It shapes diversity within film and television because it allows multiple stories to exist simultaneously, creating complex and challenging characters we can connect with.

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Actor/writer/entrepreneur Allen Maldonado believes it’s important that creators own who they are and what they bring to the table. He said “a lot of times, especially now, these shows are searching for that. They need diversity, they need your opinion. They need your way of life.”

Photo: Urban Content Studios

As co-star and co-writer on the show, The Last OG, starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish, Maldonado spoke about how his background and experiences prepared him to write for the show. “The things I’ve been through in the streets, that’s an asset,” he said. “There’s people in the room, even that are Black and Latino that aren’t from that area that don’t have that opinion.”

[Be] yourself. It doesn’t matter what your ethnicity is, its an asset. And as you stay true to that then you actually put worth on yourself.

Black creators such as Lena Waithe, Jordan Peele, and Ava DuVernay have created ample amount of room at the table for there to be a varying depiction of blackness. It doesn’t fall on one person or network, instead their voices amplify the every day joys and struggles of being Black.

The table is long enough for writers to share and write stories that matter. Your voice, your perspective matters as a creative. It’s the best asset you’ll have as a storyteller.

Don’t be afraid to write that script or pitch that business idea. The world is made better by your unique perspective.


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