TikTok hosted its first ever #MakeBlackHistory Summit for black creators in Los Angeles this past weekend.
Over 100 black creators attended the two-day event, which included discussions with celebrities and industry executives on the importance of cultural content creation, as well as working sessions focused on career development and personal branding.
Supermodel, businesswoman and entrepreneur Tyra Banks spoke at the kickoff dinner about fostering an environment that encourages inclusivity and allows users to feel comfortable creating and, ultimately, sharing their authentic selves.
Creator Drea Okeke interviewed actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross about how she built her successful personal brand by being true to herself, with Ross saying, “I’ve tried to be other people for so long, but I realized that I do me best.”
Actor, musician, business executive and television show host Nick Cannon discussed how hard work and adopting visualization exercises early in his career enabled him to earn TV roles, saying, “Spend time with yourself: That’s when your creativity really takes place.”
RCA Records executive vice president of artists and repertoire Tunji Balogun and BET vp of talent and casting, original programming Robi Reed took part in a fireside chat where they discussed how creators can become the most successful versions of themselves.
Reed said, “Always be ready, because you never know when your chance will come,” and Balogun added, “Never underestimate anyone, especially yourself.”
Creators Bryce Xavier and Mahogany Lox sat down with entertainment and social media talent managers Gigi Harville and Christina Bachelor to discuss how creators can achieve breakthrough success on TikTok.
Xavier said, “Along with doing content, it takes a lot of energy to focus and make sure the quality is there,” while Bachelor added, “Take out the words, ‘I can’t,’ and put in the words, ‘I will try.’”
Actor, comedian and activist Terry Crews gave the second-night keynote, saying, “No one can replace your creativity. Your creativity is you.”
And the event wrapped up with a private performance by Doja Cat, who performed “Say So,” which has gone viral on TikTok.
Chikumbu wrote in the blog post, “It’s always important to us to recognize, uplift and invest in those on our platform who are driving culture and creativity … We believe that TikTok, at its best, creates opportunities for users to create content that resonates with others and helps them build a stronger community. We recognize that for many users, TikTok allows them to showcase their creativity and reach new heights, and it’s important to us that we are celebrating the diverse voices that exist on the platform … The #MakeBlackHistory Creator Summit was an amazing opportunity for us to support this thriving, talented community.”