10 Black Gen Z Professionals To Keep On Your Radar In 2022
In the spirit of shouting out Black excellence, here are 10 young professionals who are killin' it right now!
December 03, 2021 at 8:51 pm
As 2021 is winding down, Forbes has unveiled it's annual "30 Under 30" list for the upcoming year. While the magazine lists the average age of its entrants is 28.2 years old, plenty of young stars made the cut, the publication reported.
Willow Smith, Jack Harlow and Baby Keem are the most recognizable Gen Z performers listed. Other stars acknowledged included Jojo Siwa, Bella Thorne and Toronto Blue Jays athlete Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
However, the 2022 "30 Under 30" list also comprises rising Black talent that deserves further recognition. So, in the spirit of acknowledging up-and-coming young voices, we've compiled a list of 10 Black Gen Z-ers to keep an eye out for — because they're definitely on Forbes' radar!
Brooklyn-based Atlanta native Kendall Bessent is a photographer who uses his work to show "the complexities of Blackness" and the overall Black American experience. At 21 years old, he has already collaborated with several high-profile companies like The New York Times, Netflix and Teen Vogue.
He also notably led an art talk at Yale earlier this year, which looks great on any résumé!
This 23-year-old hockey star is a force to be reckoned with!
After excelling as a member of the Merrimack Warriors' team during college, Mikyla Grant-Mentis became a top athlete in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL).
This Canadian queen memorably made history earlier this year when she was the first Black athlete to be named an MVP by the NWHL.
First-generation Nigerian American Uyiosa Omorogbe wanted to use his clothing brand to give back to his community.
Through NASO, which he describes as "a direct reflection of the diaspora," this 24-year-old seeks to bring African and Western cultures together for a good cause. A portion of all sales goes toward helping fund education initiatives from Africa to the U.S., and he's already raised over $1 million in seed funding.
We love a young entrepreneur who gives back to his community!
Jalyn Emil Hall
This 13-year-old actor made his on-screen debut back in 2018, and he has gone on to become a recognizable face through his roles in Space Jam, Black-ish, All American, and NCIS: Los Angeles.
Back in October, MGM's Orion Pictures announced Jalyn Emil Hall would play the starring role of Emmett Till in an upcoming film covering the tragedy and its aftermath, Till.
Eric Hart Jr.
NYU photography student Eric Hart Jr. uses his work to highlight the beauty of Black identity and culture.
In addition to being recognized by Forbes, this 21-year-old was also acknowledged by Men's Health magazine last year.
In other words, this college student is showing what he's made of, and we can't wait to see what else he'll accomplish in the future!
After moving from Kenya to America at 13, Joseph Kitonga strived to make a difference in health care.
At only 24 years old, he has already founded Vitable Health — a company that prioritizes providing high-quality, affordable health care for the tens of millions of uninsured or under-insured Americans.
So far, Vitable Health has raised over $9 million in investments — indeed proving that this Gen Z-er is an industry trailblazer!
This 24-year-old designer partnered up with her mother in 2015 to create the House of Aama fashion label. The company specifically focuses on "explor[ing] the folkways of the Black experience" and honoring heritage.
With various eye-catching designs that are both innovative and nostalgic, Akua Shabaka is making her mark on the fashion world!
Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies is primarily known for his performance with Bayern Munich, a German sports club. On top of this, the 21-year-old is also part of the Canada men's national soccer team (CanMNT).
Segueing to his interests, this athlete — who was born in a Ghanian refugee camp — advocates for children's education and people seeking asylum.
Austyn Wyche, who graduated from Morehouse and Columbia, is a designer and photographer who focuses on culture, entertainment and race in his work.
This 24-year-old has an available online portfolio called "Glass" on his website, and it's sure to intrigue many fans of multimedia art!
This 25-year-old young professional is at the very edge of Gen Z, but her accomplishments have nonetheless earned her a spot on this list!
Kimberly Chexnayder is known for her work with NFL Network, and she was one of the youngest people to have an on-air position with the league when she was brought on in 2019.
We can't wait to see what else this TV host accomplishes as her career progresses!
Did you recognize any names from our list of rising Black Gen Z-ers?
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