Global culture is influenced by American culture that is shaped at its core by people of color. In 2017 we saw diverse figures from Yara Shahidi’s status as a smart young actress to Edward Enninful taking the helm as the Vogue UK’s first black editor.
Marlon Nichols in a recent interview with AfroTech mentioned that the thesis at Cross Culture Ventures is to invest in culture. Why? Because Black & Brown consumer culture is a strong early indicator of mass culture, and therefore investing early on cultural indicators provides a massive opportunity.
Below we share 20 movers & shakers to watch out for across various sectors and three different continents. These are influencers that provide early signals of consumer habits and trends that align with cultural change.
1. Joy-Ann Reid
The MSNBC anchor Joy-Ann Reid often represents a voice for the culture on TV and social media. She doesn’t hold back when analyzing the Trump administration. Joy-Ann Reid wrote a 2015 book on politics and race: “Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide”. Fans of the Brooklyn-born straight talker often referred to as #Reiders can catch her documenting her journey on Instagram and Twitter.
You can follow her here: @JoyAnnReid
2. Arlan Hamilton
Arlan has a true nothing-to-something story, she went from having no money in the bank and sleeping on a blowup bed in Houston to creating Backstage Capital which has invested over $5million in over 60 underrepresented founders. Despite not having any experience previously in tech, let alone as an investor, she managed to attract reputable LPs such as Marc Andreessen and Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield.
You can follow her here: @arlanwashere
3. Everette Taylor
Forbes included Everette in their Marketing and Advertising 30 under 30 List this year. However, he had humble beginnings and was once homeless. He has developed a reputation as a social media guru and amassed an incredible following. Last year he launched a social media brand building software Popsocial. In just over a year it has generated over $2 million in revenue. He is also the founder of marketing consultancy Millisense and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Cross Culture VC.
You can follow him here: @Everette
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