There are multiple layers to success; for some, acquiring materialistic value is equivalent to being successful, and for others, it’s the concept of existing in the limelight. But for Ashley Blaine Featherson, it’s much more in-depth. The idea of success for the D.C. native consists of pushing the needle forward, staying true to her authentic nature, and paving a path for future generations while making our ancestors proud. “Standing on the shoulders of giants,” the 32-year-old’s mission is to celebrate the identity, uniqueness, and beauty of our culture both personally and professionally.
As a Howard University graduate (HU, YOU KNOW), HBCU greatness runs deep. A commonality that we both share but for me as a Florida A&M University (FAMU) Rattler (Yep, shameless plug!). Rich in history and traditional value, she continues to exude immense pride instilled in her from her upbringing and time at “The Mecca.” Although continuing to pave the way for future generations in Black Hollywood is complicated, Ashley’s wins throughout her career trajectory have proven it’s tangible.
In particular, teaming up with the Black-owned beauty brand The Lip Bar to focus on representation and inclusion in mainstream media. With campaign taglines, such as “We know the difference between diversity and tokenism.” And “We’re more than a trend,” was bold yet necessary to continue igniting meaningful dialogue on what it truly means to stand tall and confident in your blackness.
Not to mention, the Netflix series “Dear White People” in which she stars as the character Joelle Brooks was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. “It makes me extremely proud to know that I get to portray a character on television that allows so many other women to feel represented. It’s because she’s a real young woman just trying to navigate life,” the actress said. A truth we are all dealing with daily, wouldn’t you agree?