Black History Month Spotlight : Angela Robinson and Jasika Nicole

In case you didn’t know, February is Black History Month. All month long, African-Americans are being recognized and celebrated for their contributions to science, politics, literature, sports, social justice, and so many other areas. AfterEllen.com has stepped in and will be celebrating both the out black women in America as well as the black women who have played gay or bi. We hope you enjoy and, as always, we encourage suggestions!

Angela Robinson

38-year-old Angela Robinson is a film and TV producer, director, and writer who has been involved with a host of queer projects, including executive producing several episodes of The L Word. Robinson directed the 2005 satirical spy film D.E.B.S., which starred Jordana Brewster and Sara Foster in an unlikely lesbian relationship, as well as the always-stunning Meagan Good as simply badass in general. Among Robinson’s most recent projects is Girltrash!, the black-and-white online webseries that stars lesbian favorites Rose Rollins, Gabrielle Christian, Mandy Musgrave and Margaret Cho.

Robinson’s ability to create fun and sexy films while subversively incorporating her ideas about gender and sexuality politics has brought queer women’s agenda to a more mainstream audience. Her commitment to portraying diverse lesbian and bisexual women in the media has also given voices to the many queer women who are often ignored from mainstream media. For Robinson’s impressive work from D.E.B.S. to The L Word to her upcoming Girltrash! movie, her overall contributions to the realm of queer women and queer women of color make her an exemplar of the continued progress towards increased visibility in the media.

Watch a video of Angela talking about her career as part of Logo’s Legacy series.

Jasika Nicole

As a young black actress, Jasika Nicole is living proof that a woman can be out in public and still land great roles (read: not a homicidal lesbian vampire) on TV, like her current role as FBI Special Agent Astrid Farnsworth in Fox’s sci-fi series Fringe. In a 2008 interview with AfterEllen, Nicole said about being out in Hollywood:

I didn’t feel like there was an alternative. I was completely unwilling to lie about who I was, or to hide who I was with.

Nicole’s refusal to hide her sexuality from the industry is encouraging for other females in the spotlight to freely express themselves as well while simultaneously maintaining a successful career. Furthermore, Nicole is vocal about the intersection of her sexuality with her identity as a black woman, and understands the nuances of having multiple identities — not just the queer one.

Over the past few years, Nicole has garnered a wide following of supporters of her blog, her art, and her burgeoning acting career. Her body of work includes the character Egypt in the Antonio Banderas film Take the Lead, The Return of Jezebel James alongside Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose, and the role of Gisella on Law & Order: Criminal Intent in 2005. A Jasika-of-all-traits, she also designs eco-friendly tote bags and is currently developing her comic High Yella Magic into a graphic novel.

Fringe returns to Fox on April 19, giving us anxiously waiting fans more Jasika Nicole every Thursday night and adding another queer woman of color to network television.

Happy Black History Month!

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