In a move to reshape the narrative of Black identity, REVOLT has launched an initiative this Black History Month that puts the storytelling power firmly in the hands of Black creators. Historically, the portrayal of Blackness in media and entertainment has often been marred by bias and stereotypes, with limited control over the narratives resting in the hands of the community itself. However, this project turns the tables by providing Black artists and writers the freedom to define their own stories while offering fresh, authentic perspectives that challenge longstanding prejudices and misconceptions.
Meet the talents behind these stories — which you can read in our Instagram’s social captions — and designs as they redefine Black storytelling for a new generation. Continue scrolling to learn more about them.
1. Angel Darmella
New York-born photographer and AI artist Angel Darmella is a trailblazer in the intersection of art and technology. Her artistic endeavors focus on expanding the representation of Black women in creative technology. She began her career in photography with the aim of challenging prevailing norms as well as ensuring the inclusion and recognition of other WOC who share her background in the field.
In her work, Darmella combines traditional photojournalistic techniques with the use of AI platforms like Midjourney. Each of her creations is designed to convey a unique story, striving to “shatter entrenched norms” and make a lasting impression.
2. Tylonn J Sawyer
Born and raised in Detroit, Tylonn J. Sawyer is an American multidisciplinary artist, educator, and curator. With figurative arts-based training, his work juxtaposes themes of identity — both individual and collective — with investigations of race and history within pop culture. He holds a BFA in drawing and painting from Eastern Michigan University and an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art: Graduate School of Figurative Art.
Sawyer has also been included in several solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. His projects were featured in the Venice Biennale in Italy, Texas A&M University, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, to mention a few.
3. Curry J. Hackett
Curry J. Hackett is a transdisciplinary designer, public artist, and educator. He’s the founder of Wayside, a design studio that looks at under-told histories to inspire meaningful art and critical research. Through artificial intelligence tools, the Farmville, Virginia native braids Black aesthetics, kinships with nature, and pop culture to imagine surreal scenes of Black joy.
Among his notable works, Hackett’s “Drylongso” explores relationships between Blackness, geography, and land. It also received funding from the Graham Foundation, the Journal of Architectural Education, and the Washington Project for the Arts. Additionally, Hackett earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University and is currently completing his Master of Architecture in Urban Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
4. Natahlia Carr
Natahlia Carr is an Atlanta-based copywriter and content creator whose work has been published in ESSENCE, The Atlantic, and Buzzfeed, to name a few. She’s a storyteller at heart with a deep-rooted passion for writing and creative expression. Through using her imagination and awareness of the latest trends to craft engaging and relatable content, Carr garnered over 150 million impressions and 3 million likes on previous projects.
5. Amir Garcia
Amir “CPR” Garcia is a photographer and creative specializing in storytelling and cinema, dedicated to crafting impactful narratives that inspire and resonate. His commitment to being a beacon of inspiration for the youth is visible through documenting college and high school sports teams across football and basketball.
6. Jason Smith
Jason Smith is a multidisciplinary artist from Chicago, Illinois. He’s currently exploring the limits of digital art in Adobe’s Creative Suite and Cinema 4D. His work surrounds themes of Afrofuturism, self-identity, and spirituality. Through 3D projects and concepts, Smith encourages audiences to look within themselves and think beyond the physical world we experience daily.
7. Zabel Castillo
As an Afro-Latina with roots in the tropical island of the Dominican Republic, Zabel Castillo is a holistic creative. Her expertise includes directing, entrepreneurship, and documenting at the intersection of design, lifestyle, travel, and wellness. Conversely, she has a passion for sensorial experiences that ignited her journey of exploration at a young age.
She’s also the co-founder and creative director of California-based hospitality brand Timeless Living. Outside of her work as a designer using artificial intelligence, Castillo also immerses herself in ecotourism, pottery, and cultural research.
8. Isha Thorpe
Isha Thorpe serves as the Senior Managing Editor at REVOLT Media & TV. As the head of the company’s editorial department, she’s responsible for overseeing all operations on the news site, as well as monitoring editorial aspects of other departments such as video, social, and more. Isha has almost 15 years of experience in the digital media space. She began interning and writing for a number of reputable media companies since the age of 18, while still enrolled full-time in college as a multimedia journalism major — ultimately graduating in the top percentile of her class with departmental honors thanks to her major GPA of over 3.9. Some of her previous employers include Yahoo, Global Grind, Radar Online, OK Magazine, Star Magazine, The Boombox, VIBE, NBCUniversal, VH1 and iHeartRadio.
A proud Brooklynite originally from Bed-Stuy, Isha now resides in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not working on the site, she’s hosting and executive producing her “Making The Boss” podcast, which is also on the REVOLT Podcast Network.
9. Carlyle Smith
Carlyle Smith brings over 15 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry, with a focus on music, film, cloud application architecture, and artificial Intelligence. He’s also been able to work with the likes of Ari Lennox, SZA, Joey Badass, and more through companies such as Black Wax, a music management firm; Creative Control, a film and media production company; and 8LAB, where he works on generative artificial intelligence for creative experiences.
10. Erlen Masson
Erlen Masson is a designer and artistic director with over 10 years of experience in the industry. His resume includes working on projects with the likes of Burberry, HYPEBEAST, FIFA 21, Nike, and Moncler’s House of Genius, among others. Through innovative storytelling and efficiency in design, his craft works to redefine the intersection of art and technology. Masson also founded Anonivate Design Studio to showcase his work.
11. Jarrhette Burke
With a career spanning over 13 years, Jarrhette Burke earned the opportunity to work with brands across the globe. Thus far, his eye for design has caught the attention of brands like Netflix, Puma, Yves Saint Laurent, Showtime, REVOLT, NFL Media, and more. His extensive experience led him to work on high-end projects while utilizing his youth to speak to past, present, and future generations through design. As a natural sketch artist turned digital creative, Burke continues to evolve into a complete hybrid designer suitable for any task.
12. Juriel Majeed
Juriel Majeed, also known as J.RU, is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hailing specifically from Garfield Heights. From an early age, his creative spirit was in full swing, whether it was crafting music, poetry, art, or organizing events. This passion led Majeed to delve into audio and radio production in high school years. Later, his journey took him to the Art Institute of Atlanta, where Majeed honed his skills in filmmaking. He would eventually jump into the realm of videography, acquiring new skills in photography and graphic design.
The talent has worked in several vibrant cities like Atlanta, where he cultivated his craft; Los Angeles, where he contributed to a burgeoning movement of young Black creators; and New York, where he established Traffic Art — a platform and resource hub for creators of all stripes. Along the way, Majeed’s had the privilege of crossing paths with remarkable individuals such as Afeni Shakur, DMX, and Scarface.
13. Jason “Jah” Lee
Jason “Jah” Lee is a writer and editor based out of Atlanta, Georgia. His work focuses on entertainment culture and social justice. His viral headlines have garnered millions of impressions over the past decade.
14. Tiffani Joseph
Tiffani Joseph is a Brooklyn-based satirical writer who wields wit to confront racism, misogynoir, and other hypocrisies embedded in American culture. When not deploying her pen toward social critique, Tiffani builds her fintech startup alongside her imaginary friend, Cornbread.