As the saying goes, “You never know where you’re going, until you know where you’ve been”—and that’s especially true for some of our favorite Black celebrities. To crack the formula for how these influential figures achieved seemingly unreachable dreams, we’re examining the ups and downs of their lives and careers, looking at the crucial moments in their evolution.
Will Smith’s journey from the Fresh Prince to King Richard wasn’t easy or expected. No one watched the “Parents Just Don’t Understand” video and thought, “That guy is going to be an Oscar-winner.” Except Will did–and over the course of nearly 35 years, he slowly transformed from an action hero to a serious dramatic actor. The move hasn’t always been easy, and now that he’s mired in scandal and controversy, he may have to start over, but we have no doubt he’ll be back on top very soon.
Another celebrity we’ll be putting under the microscope is Rihanna–who there’s always been something special about. Even when she came out with “Pon de Replay,” we knew she would become so much more than a one-hit wonder. And we were right because it wasn’t long before she took over pop radio. Then, like a lot of celebrities, she decided to start her own fashion line, and it was over for the rest of us. Savage x Fenty is a massive success, and Rih recently made her first appearance on Forbes’ annual billionaires list. The only thing we need now is an update on new music.
And lastly, you know we couldn’t start this project without our Forever First Lady Michelle Obama. From her humble beginnings on the Southside of Chicago to transitioning into life at the White House, the attorney and author is one of those people who was always destined for greatness. Let’s be honest: Michelle could’ve made it to the White House without Barack, but he absolutely needed her to get there. Whether she’s making guest appearances on children’s shows or playing dodgeball with James Corden, everything she does is interesting and we’ll forever be fascinated by her.
In the coming weeks, we’ll have The Evolution of former NFL quarterback/activist Colin Kaepernick, writer/director Tyler Perry, R&B icon Mary J. Blige, award-winning actress/comedian Whoopi Goldberg, basketball legend Michael Jordan, President Barack Obama and many more.