Black History Month: Black Women Creating Hollywood Magic


Filmmaker Kasi Lemmons, stuntwoman Valisa Tate and film composer Kathryn Bostic are among the black women who are making magic behind the scenes in Hollywood. (Photo: XFINITY)

There aren’t enough days in February to fully recognize the many and varied accomplishments black Americans have made in this country.


Even in the arena of TV and film, where Black Hollywood is currently experiencing a golden moment, the list would seem never-ending. This is even truer when considering lesser-known individuals who work behind the scenes in roles like writers, stunt doubles and cinematographers.

That is why XFINITY is honoring many of the female faces behind the magic as part of our Black History Month celebration. We are featuring interviews throughout February with black women whose own form of #BlackGirlMagic help add more pizzazz to your favorite films, TV shows and online content.


Take a look at some of these dynamic women below and share their stories via social media using the hashtags #BlackHistoryAlwaysOn and #XFINITYBHM.

Kasi Lemmons

Though Kasi Lemmons has appeared in several TV shows and films, many people remember first seeing her alongside Jodi Foster in “The Silence of the Lambs.” From there Lemmons continued acting, but making films was her true passion.

She debuted her first film, “Eve’s Bayou,” to much acclaim and continued creating films showing various aspects of the black American experience with “Talk To Me,” “Black Nativity” and “Caveman Valentine’s.”

“This is how we explain ourselves. It can’t all be done by white men. It just doesn’t make any sense. It’s got to reflect the population,” Lemmons said.

Learn more about Lemmons’ experiences in front of the camera and behind the scenes when you watch her interview below.

WATCH: Kasi Lemmons Interview


Valisa Tate

Valise Tate’s face may not be as recognizable as Meagan Good’s or Nicole Beharie’s, but you’ve undoubtedly seen her body. As one of the most sought-after stuntwomen in the business, this is a good thing. Tate, who’s doubled for Good and Beharie, possesses an impressive resume that includes working on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Luke Cage” and “Orange Is the New Black.”

“I got into the field being in the right place at the right time. And I feel that I kind of manifested the job. I’ve gotten into the habit of writing down goals so I had written down ‘make money off of my athleticism,’” Tate shared.

Watch Tate’s interview below to learn more about how her journey as a stuntwoman and how the sports she played as a child are helping her now.

WATCH: Valisa Tate’s Interview


Kathryn Bostic

Singer and film composer Kathryn Bostic came out of the womb loving music.

Bostic’s classical pianist mother taught her to play piano at a very young age and helped develop her music sensibility. Fast-forward and Bostic has composed music for film, TV and theater. Her credits include the acclaimed film “Dear White People,” and three Ava DuVernay films, including “Middle of Nowhere.” Bostic also worked with Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson.

“Do not wait for someone to give you an opportunity. You are the opportunity. You are the conduit for your dreams to become actualized,” said Bostic, a past participant in the Sundance Institute Time Warner Foundation Fellowship Program.

Watch Bostic’s interview below to discover more about her journey.

WATCH: Kathryn Bostic’s Interview



Enjoyed this? Be sure to check out previous “Can’t Stop Watching” posts. Have a comment for the black entertainment site Tweet @AishaIman with your question.