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Creator & Artist Stories

Meet the U.S. #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021

  • By The YouTube Team
  • Jan.12.2021
Meet the U.S. #YouTubeBlackVoices Creator Class of 2021
We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives and to continue to center both their voices and perspectives.

Black creators have played an important role in shaping the culture on YouTube. From fashion and comedy to politics, learning and wellness, Black creators have raised the bar for how creators engage with their audience, build community, and propel our platform forward. The #YouTubeBlack community is filled with so many talented, brilliant, passionate, and driven creatives, and we’re honored to equip these awesome creators with additional resources to match their drive.

 

We’re excited to spotlight Black creatives and to continue to center both their voices and perspectives. As part of that mission, we developed the #YouTubeBlack Voices grant program  -- an initiative dedicated to investing in Black creators and artists, and equipping them with the resources to succeed on our platform. This grant program is part of our larger #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a global, multi-year commitment to empower Black creators and artists on our platform, as well as to produce and acquire new YouTube Original programs, focusing on racial justice and Black experiences.

In 2016, some of the largest and most-influential Black creators on YouTube came together for the first-ever #YouTubeBlack Summit. That moment was the start of a movement --both on our platform and off -- that became the #YouTube Black community. Over the years we’ve continued to partner and build specific programming for the #YouTube Black community -- summits, workshops and events like #YouTubeBlack FanFest


We’re building on that momentum, and today, after many months of collaboration, we’re excited to introduce you to our inaugural class of 36  #YouTubeBlack Voices creator grantees from the United States, who are part of our 132 creators from across the world who are participating in the Class of 2021.


In the coming months, we will work closely with the Class of 2021. This will include dedicated partner support, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and participation in an intensive development program that will focus on training in production, community engagement and wellbeing, followed by ongoing workshops and networking programs.


The #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund is only part of the comprehensive work currently underway to make YouTube a place where Black artists, creators, and users can share their stories and feel protected. We continue to invest in product and policy changes to meet that goal. We recently provided an update on our work to make YouTube a more inclusive platform, including how we handle harmful and hateful comments.


This is the first round of investments we are making in creators and artists from the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund. Over the next few years, we will directly invest in 500+ creators and artists from across the world to support, grow, and fund their channels and content development.


Please meet the #YouTubeBlack Voices Creator Class of 2021!*


Ambers Closet

Ambers Closet

Ambers Closet

Los Angeles, California



Ambers Closet: Amber Whittington is a host, activist and personality whose videos range from challenges, comedy sketches, motivational content, fashion, LGBTQ topics and more. She started her channel to help others that might be struggling with their identity and to break stereotypes, as well as to showcase her unique androgynous/tomboy style. Her goal is to inspire everyone with positivity, self-love, and self-confidence. 


ARROWS

ARROWS

ARROWS

Los Angeles, California 



ARROWS: ARROWS is a model, musician, filmmaker, and producer born in the San Francisco Bay Area who currently lives in LA. ARROWS began in entertainment after appearing on MTV's Real World Ex-Plosion, and turned to YouTube to produce his own stories, shows and films that explore gender and identity through fashion. 


Ahsante the Artist

Ahsante the Artist

Ahsante the Artist

Washington, DC



Ahsante the Artist: Ahsante Bean is a video producer, digital strategist, and multimedia storyteller. She began her channel in 2013 by chronicling her experience in college at Harvard University, and created the viral 2014 video “I, Too, Am Harvard,” which highlighted the voices of Black students on Harvard’s campus. Ahsante was a 2020 member of the Online News Association’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator, a selective program for women who are pushing digital innovation in journalism. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, Buzzfeed, MSNBC, The Root, and in the Museum of the Moving Image.
Asia Jackson

Asia Jackson

Asia Jackson

Los Angeles, California



Asia Jackson: Asia Jackson is an actress and digital creative whose channel focuses on skincare, fashion and self-care. Asia is of African-American and Filipino descent, and created the global movement #MagandangMorenx, which translates to “beautiful brown skin”, to challenge colorism and celebrate the diversity of beauty in the Philippines. 


AyChristeneGames

AyChristeneGames

AyChristeneGames

Tampa, Florida



AyChristeneGames: AyChristene is a content creator whose videos focus on gaming, reactions, music, cooking and sketches. AyChristene loves to make people smile and to help people connect and relate to each other. 


Aysha Harun

Aysha Harun

Aysha Harun

Los Angeles, California



Aysha Harun: Aysha Harun is a beauty and lifestyle creator who began her YouTube journey in 2011 when she was only 16 years old, and has since grown to become one of the top Muslim creators in the beauty category. Of Ethiopian descent, Aysha’s channel includes a mix of in-depth tutorials, lifestyle vlogs, style-inspo, as well as commentary on social issues like Black Muslim representation in the media, colorism and mental health. She has been featured in People, Refinery29, and Forbes ME as a cultural influencer who is breaking new ground for Muslim women around the globe.

BdotAdot5

BdotAdot5

Phoenix, Arizona


BdotAdot5:  Brandon "BdotAdot5" Armstrong is recognized for his hysterical parodies and impersonations of professional NBA basketball players. Having played professional basketball internationally in Spain and Australia, Brandon's commentary is inspired by a unique combination of expertise and the gift of humor. Brandon's digital career has been met with amazing response by basketball heavy hitters like LeBron James, James Harden, and Carmelo Anthony. 

Chaz Smith

Chaz Smith

Chaz Smith

Los Angeles, California



Chaz Smith: Chaz grew up in New Jersey and made his first YouTube video in April 2013, inspired by his desire to share joy with people through laughter and conversations. Chaz is known for his comedy videos, especially for pronouncing things incorrectly and arguing that water is not wet


Cydnee Black

Cydnee Black

Cydnee Black

Los Angeles, California


Cydnee Black: Cydnee started her channel in 2013 to help other women with dark complexions with product recommendations and makeup tips. Since then, she has expanded her content to include various subjects with a beauty focus, most notably with her series called Makeup & History. Cydnee was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and dog Coco. 


Dormtainment

Dormtainment

Dormtainment

Atlanta, Georgia



Dormtainment: Comedy collective Amanuel Richards, Cameron Miller, Rome Green, Mike Anthony and Chaz Miller started their sketch comedy channel while in college in 2009. The collective has grown and expanded their content to include music and the YouTube Originals series “Snap!” More than ten years later, the group has worked on sketches, TV appearances, live shows, podcasts and comedy albums. 


The Edwards Family

The Edwards Family

The Edwards Family

Dallas, Texas


The Edwards Family: The Edwards Family is a young family of four that is growing and learning as they go. Uncommon for most 23-year-old Gen Z-ers, Kaelin and Kyrah were married at 19 and had both of their boys, Karter and Kaiser, within two years after. The best part is, they have used YouTube to document the entire journey. Their story of growing from young-and-in-love to full-on adulting has been a transparent look into what couples truly overcome as real life happens. 


Evelyn from the Internets

Evelyn from the Internets

Evelyn From The Internets

Austin, Texas


Evelyn From The Internets: Evelyn From The Internets is a digital storyteller who's been creating funny and insightful content on YouTube since 2008. From not-so-serious beauty tutorials and cultural critiques to humorous takes on somber current events, Evelyn strives to inspire and entertain viewers. Evelyn is the writer and co-host of PBS Digital Studios show, “Say It Loud,” was a 2017 YouTube Creators for Change fellow, and was a 2020 participant in the YouTube x Michelle Obama initiative for global girls' education.


The Glam Twinz

The Glam Twinz

The Glam Twinz

Atlanta, Georgia



The Glam Twinz: Identical twins Kelsey and Kendra are beauty, fashion and lifestyle creators. They are the best-selling authors of “The Glam Twinz Guide to Longer, Healthier Hair,” which focuses on natural hair education. Kelsey and Kendra have been featured in Essence, Teen Vogue, Hype Hair, Sheen and Harper’s Bazaar. They will continue to highlight the importance of accepting women for who they are, and to passionately advocate for racial justice. 


The Grapevine

The Grapevine

The Grapevine

New York City, New York



The Grapevine: Not your parents’ television show, The Grapevine is a fresh and innovative take on the panel-style discussion. The show places the topics of today in the hands and minds of young game changers, artists, cultural innovators, and professionals to dissect what the impact is for this generation. The roundtable discussion format boasts viewers and fans from Australia to France, revolutionizing the way we have discussions. 


For Harriet

For Harriet

For Harriet

Dallas, Texas



For Harriet: Kimberly Foster creates content that connects popular culture to Black feminist thought. She has been a YouTube creator since 2014.


iamLindaElaine

iamLindaElaine

Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona



iamLindaElaine: Originally from the East Coast, Linda Elaine started her YouTube journey as a beauty creator in 2006, but over the years has shifted into a lifestyle channel. Her channel features travel, health and wellness, vlogging, beauty, spiritual and home-related content. Her driving factor now in creating content is creating a space where people can teach themselves how to do their makeup or hair, and also eat better and continue to grow mentally and spiritually. 


Jabrils

Jabrils

Jabrils

San Diego, California



Jabrils: Jabrils is just a guy who knows very little, but wants to know a lot. Often digging into extremely complex engineering challenges on his channel, Jabrils shows that even without a college degree, if you have enough passion and determination, anything is possible. 


Jacques Slade

Jacques Slade

Jacques Slade

Los Angeles, California



Jacques Slade: Jacques Slade is a true multi-hyphenate. He's a host, producer, writer, director, and editor whose Youtube channel encompasses over 1.2 million subscribers and more than 162.8 million video views. Jacques' original content features reviews on the latest sneaker releases, live event coverage, and interviews with pro-athletes, musicians, designers, and creatives.


Jamilla and Que

Jamilla and Que

Jamilla & Que

Atlanta, Georgia



Jamilla & Que: Jamilla and Que (Sequena) live in Atlanta, GA with their two girls. They started their channel in 2015 to showcase the Black LGBTQIA community who are married and raising families. They make lifestyle vlog content and commentary videos discussing hot topics. Jamilla and Que just welcomed a new baby in November 2020 and celebrated five years of marriage on January 1, 2021. 


Jouelzy

Jouelzy

Jouelzy

Charlotte, North Carolina



Jouelzy: Jouelzy is a content creator & founder of #SmartBrownGirl, where she curates discussions centered around pop culture trends with a political history lense. In January 2020, she launched the SBG Book Club with the goal of widening the space for the public to engage with research, theory, and history across a wide-range of backgrounds and knowledge bases, and tackling misinformation covertly cycling through the Black community on YouTube. 


Jade Fox

Jade Fox

Jade Fox

Portland, Oregon



Jade Fox: Jade Fox is a comedian and digital content creator. She started making YouTube videos in 2009 and currently uploads content surrounding being a Black queer introvert, pop culture, as well as lifestyle content. Her videos have caught the attention of VH1, Paper Magazine, and VICE.


Kelly Stamps

Kelly Stamps

Kelly Stamps

Boston, Massachusetts


Kelly Stamps: Kelly Stamps started uploading videos in the summer of 2018 to make her peers laugh and she’s already reached nearly 500K subscribers. Her videos capture her fun, chaotic lifestyle — ranging from dancing to K-pop in public or spontaneous trips to satisfy her wanderlust. She achieved her goal of turning her channel into a full-time job this year. 


KevOnStage

KevOnStage

KevOnStage

Los Angeles, California


KevOnStage: In 2009, Kevin was a budding stand-up comedian. But with a heavy desire to be a present husband and father, Kevin launched the KevOnStage online persona as a way to build an audience without leaving his growing family at home.  Over the course of the last 10+ years, Kevin has built a massive social media following with cumulative views in excess of 3B+ across the major social media platforms. His family-friendly, relatable approach to comedy has skyrocketed him into a bonafide social media mogul. 


King of Reads

King of Reads

King of Reads

Atlanta, Georgia



King of Reads: Originally from Memphis, TN, Justin James had always been told that he should be a comedian, but the thought of telling jokes in front of a large crowd always scared him. YouTube has allowed him to do that and more in front of hundreds of thousands of people each day. Justin shared with the world that he is living with HIV in 2018, in a video that has inspired many others to become comfortable with themselves. His channel is a place to engage with Black and brown folks and discuss how to navigate the world around us and how things affect us. 


Nyma Tang

Nyma Tang

Nyma Tang

Los Angeles, California



Nyma Tang: Originally from South Sudan, beauty creator Nyma Tang started her YouTube channel in 2016. She creates makeup and skincare tutorials to showcase the need for representation for deeper skin tones in the beauty industry. 


Raynday

Raynday

Raynday Gaming

Los Angeles, California



Raynday Gaming: Evan "Raynday" Raynr is a professional Esports broadcaster, host and gaming creator. Born and raised in the small town of Calabasas, California, Evan traveled the world as a player with the US Men’s National Soccer Team and played both at the university and professional level before finding his passion off the field -- gaming. He created Raynday Gaming in 2015, and the channel currently creates gaming content centered around tips and advice that both levels up a player's skill in online competitive games and in life. 


The Roommates

The Roommates

The Roommates

Houston, Texas



The Roommates: Hafeez and Chris created The Roommates in 2017 to help men and women become the best version of themselves, by improving confidence, fitness, style, business, relationships, and overall life with some laughs along the way. The Roommates have been featured by The Atlantic, Houston Chronicle, Houstonia Magazine,  Houston Style Magazine, and The National Alliance of Mental Illness. 


Shahd Batal

Shahd Batal

Los Angeles, California



Shahd Batal: Shahd is a 24-year-old Sudanese beauty, fashion, and lifestyle vlogger from Minneapolis who is currently based in Los Angeles. She started her YouTube channel from her college dorm and transitioned to a full-time vlogger shortly after. Initially, she was creating natural hair videos but made the decision to wear the hijab and start over. She’s since spoken at Stanford and Columbia University on authenticity and diversity, and collaborated with top make-up and fashion brands.
Shalom Blac

Shalom Blac

Shalom Blac

Los Angeles, California



Shalom Blac: Shalom Blac is a world-renowned beauty and lifestyle influencer. Born in Nigeria, she came to America as a young girl to seek medical attention for burns from an accident. In 2002, she began making YouTube videos as a way to express herself through her pain. Since then, Shalom has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Glamour, People and Essence. Her amazing self-taught techniques and positivity continue to inspire millions of subscribers around the world. Her proudest achievement to-date was purchasing her first home, just outside of Los Angeles, where she lives with her family. 


Soldier Knows Best

Soldier Knows Best

Soldier Knows Best

St. Louis, Missouri



Soldier Knows Best: In 2007, Mark Watson had just graduated from Lincoln University and was serving in the Army when he decided to make a video on the first iPhone. This kickstarted a wild journey, which has grown to include reviews of everything from folding smartphones to electric scooters to robotic vacuum cleaners. Mark has won multiple Shorty Awards for his tech content and participated in the 2016 Presidential Debates to ask candidates about technology use. 


Tarek Ali

Tarek Ali

Tarek Ali

Los Angeles, California



Tarek Ali: Tarek Ali is well-known for his activism and positivity that encourages self-acceptance and growth. Even before he started making YouTube videos, Tarek was doing this work offline, having started multiple LGBTQ student clubs and working as an advocate for gay students’ rights. After obtaining a degree in Biology from Georgia State University, Tarek interned at Howard University and Columbia University, and did research at National Institutes of Health for several years. Now he uses his platform to spread positivity and encourage the emotional, mental, and overall growth of every viewer.  His video messages are intended to encourage people to be comfortable with themselves and embrace their experience despite what society or people may think.


Team2Moms

Team2Moms

New York City, New York


Team2Moms: Ebony and Denise are a two-mom family, raising their kids Oliva, Jayden and Lucas. The family lives in New York, and makes videos about being a multi-cultural family that is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Team2Moms hopes to inspire, inform and connect with people who can relate to their story and might consider sharing their own story. Ebony and Denise believe that representation is important, and want youth in the LGBTQ+ community to realize that the life they envision living with a partner, career and family is, in fact, possible.
TERRELL

TERRELL

TERRELL

Los Angeles, California



TERRELL: Born and raised in the Carolinas, TERRELL is a late-night talk show host of YouTube. A former reality television show producer, he worked behind-the-scenes on several popular programs before he began to produce his own content on YouTube in 2018. Along with hosting a music talk show, he is also an artist in his own right. In January 2020, he released his debut album, “An Invitation to the Cookout.” In its first year, the album has been streamed over six million times.  


Tiffany Rothe

Tiffany Rothe

TiffanyRotheWorkouts

Austin, Texas


TiffanyRotheWorkouts: Coach Tiffany Rothe’s mission is to change the world one workout at a time. Her videos focus on building self esteem and promoting body confidence. Tiffany started on YouTube in 2010 to share her specialized, creative workouts and since then has helped millions of people get into better shape.


Tyrone Magnus

Tyrone Magnus

Tyrone Magnus

New Jersey



Tyrone Magnus: Tyrone Magnus is an actor and YouTube creator who is known for his charismatic persona and humor. Many of his reaction videos have gone viral and he earned his 1 million subscriber button in 2017. Tyrone is based in New Jersey. 


*Some participants in the #YouTubeBlack Class of 2021 have chosen not to appear in this list