Black Future 2020
Meet the creators in Beats’ HBCU program

Black Future 2020
Meet the creators in Beats’ HBCU program

Black Future 2020
Meet the creators in Beats’ HBCU program

Meet the Creators, portrait collage

Black filmmakers, artists, journalists and more join Beats to tell powerful stories.

Class is in session for the inaugural Black Future Creator Program. A dynamic group of creatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation will be flooding Beats’ platforms with gripping content about themselves, their communities, and the state of Black America.

These are the audacious creatives of Black Future 2020.

Black filmmakers, artists, journalists and more join Beats to tell powerful stories.

Class is in session for the inaugural Black Future Creator Program. A dynamic group of creatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation will be flooding Beats’ platforms with gripping content about themselves, their communities, and the state of Black America.

These are the audacious creatives of Black Future 2020.

Black filmmakers, artists, journalists and more join Beats to tell powerful stories.

Class is in session for the inaugural Black Future Creator Program. A dynamic group of creatives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation will be flooding Beats’ platforms with gripping content about themselves, their communities, and the state of Black America.

These are the audacious creatives of Black Future 2020.

Whitney Bronson
Hampton University, Sports Editorial Content Creator
Whitney Bronson
Hampton University, Sports Editorial Content Creator
Whitney Bronson
Hampton University, Sports Editorial Content Creator
Whitney Bronson, Hampton University, Sports Editorial Content Creator

Whitney Bronson is a May 2020 graduate of Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Storytelling gives Whitney the opportunity to give a voice to the unheard and provide a different perspective.

Joining Beats as the Sports Editorial Content Creator, Whitney will be working on two articles for the website that focus on social issues in sports and professional athletes who attended HBCUs.

Whitney Bronson is a May 2020 graduate of Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Storytelling gives Whitney the opportunity to give a voice to the unheard and provide a different perspective.

Joining Beats as the Sports Editorial Content Creator, Whitney will be working on two articles for the website that focus on social issues in sports and professional athletes who attended HBCUs.

Whitney Bronson is a May 2020 graduate of Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Storytelling gives Whitney the opportunity to give a voice to the unheard and provide a different perspective.

Joining Beats as the Sports Editorial Content Creator, Whitney will be working on two articles for the website that focus on social issues in sports and professional athletes who attended HBCUs.

Articles don’t need to be 1,000 words in order to get a message across. Sometimes all it takes is a paragraph, a meaningful quote and a great visual to understand the depth of what is being said.Whitney Bronson

Articles don’t need to be 1,000 words in order to get a message across. Sometimes all it takes is a paragraph, a meaningful quote and a great visual to understand the depth of what is being said.Whitney Bronson

Articles don’t need to be 1,000 words in order to get a message across. Sometimes all it takes is a paragraph, a meaningful quote and a great visual to understand the depth of what is being said.Whitney Bronson

Elijah Rutland
Florida A&M University, Customs Creator
Elijah Rutland
Florida A&M University, Customs Creator
Elijah Rutland
Florida A&M University, Customs Creator
Elijah Rutland, Florida A&M University, Customs Creator

Elijah Rutland is a fourth-year graphic design student at Florida A&M University. Elijah’s art lives on sneakers, digital spaces and canvases alike. Through art, he’s able to express his thoughts and ideas without having to say anything.

Elijah is joining the program as the Customs Creator, where he’ll be working directly with the Beats design team to create a custom headphone and matching packaging for the 2021 Black History Month collection.

Elijah Rutland is a fourth-year graphic design student at Florida A&M University. Elijah’s art lives on sneakers, digital spaces and canvases alike. Through art, he’s able to express his thoughts and ideas without having to say anything.

Elijah is joining the program as the Customs Creator, where he’ll be working directly with the Beats design team to create a custom headphone and matching packaging for the 2021 Black History Month collection.

Elijah Rutland is a fourth-year graphic design student at Florida A&M University. Elijah’s art lives on sneakers, digital spaces and canvases alike. Through art, he’s able to express his thoughts and ideas without having to say anything.

Elijah is joining the program as the Customs Creator, where he’ll be working directly with the Beats design team to create a custom headphone and matching packaging for the 2021 Black History Month collection.

Story is key. You can do the most extravagant design in the world, but if the story isn't there, the design won't matter.Elijah Rutland

Story is key. You can do the most extravagant design in the world, but if the story isn’t there, the design won’t matter.Elijah Rutland

Story is key. You can do the most extravagant design in the world, but if the story isn’t there, the design won’t matter.Elijah Rutland

Jazmin Johnson
Florida A&M University, Filmmaker
Jazmin Johnson
Florida A&M University, Filmmaker
Jazmin Johnson
Florida A&M University, Filmmaker
Jazmin Johnson, Florida A&M University, Filmmaker

Jazmin Johnson is an all-around creative and entrepreneur who studied film at Florida A&M. Since the age of nine, she knew she wanted to be a filmmaker. The power to use visuals, sound and color to tell a story enchanted her. She calls her poetic and nostalgic style, “Southern Fried Minimalism.”

She’s creating a film titled “Sounds of War,” which is a juxtaposition piece that shows the blissful world of fantasy and anxiety Black people have adopted from age-old wounds of injustice.

Jazmin Johnson is an all-around creative and entrepreneur who studied film at Florida A&M. Since the age of nine, she knew she wanted to be a filmmaker. The power to use visuals, sound and color to tell a story enchanted her. She calls her poetic and nostalgic style, “Southern Fried Minimalism.”

She’s creating a film titled “Sounds of War,” which is a juxtaposition piece that shows the blissful world of fantasy and anxiety Black people have adopted from age-old wounds of injustice.

Jazmin Johnson is an all-around creative and entrepreneur who studied film at Florida A&M. Since the age of nine, she knew she wanted to be a filmmaker. The power to use visuals, sound and color to tell a story enchanted her. She calls her poetic and nostalgic style, “Southern Fried Minimalism.”

She’s creating a film titled “Sounds of War,” which is a juxtaposition piece that shows the blissful world of fantasy and anxiety Black people have adopted from age-old wounds of injustice.

The world revolves around black creativity — we are the blueprint. It’s imperative for future generations to continue to tell our truth in our own native tongue.Jazmin Johnson

The world revolves around black creativity — we are the blueprint. It’s imperative for future generations to continue to tell our truth in our own native tongue.Jazmin Johnson

The world revolves around black creativity — we are the blueprint. It’s imperative for future generations to continue to tell our truth in our own native tongue.Jazmin Johnson

Derrick & Erick Wheeler
North Carolina A&T State University, Filmmakers
Derrick & Erick Wheeler
North Carolina A&T State University, Filmmakers
Derrick & Erick Wheeler
North Carolina A&T State University, Filmmakers
Derrick & Erick Wheeler, North Carolina A&T State University, Filmmakers

Derrick and Erick Wheeler are filmmakers and content creators who studied at North Carolina A&T State University. As filmmakers and photographers, they cherish the ability to cover work across spectrums. Making audiences feel joy, happiness and excitement is why they do what they do.

As Filmmakers in the program, they’re creating a film about changing the narrative of college sports.

Derrick and Erick Wheeler are filmmakers and content creators who studied at North Carolina A&T State University. As filmmakers and photographers, they cherish the ability to cover work across spectrums. Making audiences feel joy, happiness and excitement is why they do what they do.

As Filmmakers in the program, they’re creating a film about changing the narrative of college sports.

Derrick and Erick Wheeler are filmmakers and content creators who studied at North Carolina A&T State University. As filmmakers and photographers, they cherish the ability to cover work across spectrums. Making audiences feel joy, happiness and excitement is why they do what they do.

As Filmmakers in the program, they’re creating a film about changing the narrative of college sports.

Our HBCU has taught us fundamental life lessons, not only through education and enrichment, but through social gatherings and intimate conversations. Attending North Carolina A&T has prepared us for any scenario.The Wheeler Brothers

Our HBCU has taught us fundamental life lessons, not only through education and enrichment, but through social gatherings and intimate conversations. Attending North Carolina A&T has prepared us for any scenario.The Wheeler Brothers

Our HBCU has taught us fundamental life lessons, not only through education and enrichment, but through social gatherings and intimate conversations. Attending North Carolina A&T has prepared us for any scenario.The Wheeler Brothers

Julien & Justen Turner
Morehouse College, Filmmakers
Julien & Justen Turner
Morehouse College, Filmmakers
Julien & Justen Turner
Morehouse College, Filmmakers
Julien & Justen Turner, Morehouse College, Filmmakers

The Turner Brothers have been producing their own content since they were 10 and 14. Justen just graduated from high school and Julien just finished at Morehouse College.

The filmmaking duo aims to tell stories that entertain, inspire and uplift. They hope that their film, “Club Alli,” will offer a fantastical excursion that enlightens audiences on the plight of minorities in America.

The Turner Brothers have been producing their own content since they were 10 and 14. Justen just graduated from high school and Julien just finished at Morehouse College.

The filmmaking duo aims to tell stories that entertain, inspire and uplift. They hope that their film, “Club Alli,” will offer a fantastical excursion that enlightens audiences on the plight of minorities in America.

The Turner Brothers have been producing their own content since they were 10 and 14. Justen just graduated from high school and Julien just finished at Morehouse College.

The filmmaking duo aims to tell stories that entertain, inspire and uplift. They hope that their film, “Club Alli,” will offer a fantastical excursion that enlightens audiences on the plight of minorities in America.

We’re excited about the possibility to produce a project that could capture this historically significant moment — a moment that is not only significant in civil rights history, but in human history.The Turner Brothers

We’re excited about the possibility to produce a project that could capture this historically significant moment — a moment that is not only significant in civil rights history, but in human history.The Turner Brothers

We’re excited about the possibility to produce a project that could capture this historically significant moment — a moment that is not only significant in civil rights history, but in human history.The Turner Brothers

Arion Kidd-Weeks
Morehouse College, Filmmaker
Arion Kidd-Weeks
Morehouse College, Filmmaker
Arion Kidd-Weeks
Morehouse College, Filmmaker
Arion Kidd-Weeks, Morehouse College, Filmmaker

From directing to practicing cinematography, Arion is a filmmaker passionate about ventures that conceive compelling stories, curate counter-stereotypical images, and connect resources to support emerging creators.

During his matriculation from Morehouse College, Arion founded a multimedia production company named Flight 9 Beyond, which has produced award-winning short films and music videos. During his time with Beats, he’s developing “Stricken,” a short film about acceptance.

From directing to practicing cinematography, Arion is a filmmaker passionate about ventures that conceive compelling stories, curate counter-stereotypical images, and connect resources to support emerging creators.

During his matriculation from Morehouse College, Arion founded a multimedia production company named Flight 9 Beyond, which has produced award-winning short films and music videos. During his time with Beats, he’s developing “Stricken,” a short film about acceptance.

From directing to practicing cinematography, Arion is a filmmaker passionate about ventures that conceive compelling stories, curate counter-stereotypical images, and connect resources to support emerging creators.

During his matriculation from Morehouse College, Arion founded a multimedia production company named Flight 9 Beyond, which has produced award-winning short films and music videos. During his time with Beats, he’s developing “Stricken,” a short film about acceptance.

I hope to learn as much as possible about the ins and outs of pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.Arion Kidd-Weeks

I hope to learn as much as possible about the ins and outs of pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.Arion Kidd-Weeks

I hope to learn as much as possible about the ins and outs of pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution.Arion Kidd-Weeks

Arial Robinson
North Carolina A&T State University, IRL Creator
Arial Robinson
North Carolina A&T State University, IRL Creator
Arial Robinson
North Carolina A&T State University, IRL Creator
Arial Robinson, North Carolina A&T State University, IRL Creator

Arial Robinson is a rising junior studying multimedia journalism at North Carolina A&T State University. Arial is also a mixed-media artist and published author, working with various mediums including painting, digital photography, music and fashion styling. For her, there are no boundaries in art.

Her project will be an intimate look at her creative process, highlighting what an actual HBCU creative looks like.

Arial Robinson is a rising junior studying multimedia journalism at North Carolina A&T State University. Arial is also a mixed-media artist and published author, working with various mediums including painting, digital photography, music and fashion styling. For her, there are no boundaries in art.

Her project will be an intimate look at her creative process, highlighting what an actual HBCU creative looks like.

Arial Robinson is a rising junior studying multimedia journalism at North Carolina A&T State University. Arial is also a mixed-media artist and published author, working with various mediums including painting, digital photography, music and fashion styling. For her, there are no boundaries in art.

Her project will be an intimate look at her creative process, highlighting what an actual HBCU creative looks like.

Our voice is important and I want to tell our story and show that we are not one size fits all, our experiences are dynamic and complex.Arial Robinson

Our voice is important and I want to tell our story and show that we are not one size fits all, our experiences are dynamic and complex.Arial Robinson

Our voice is important and I want to tell our story and show that we are not one size fits all, our experiences are dynamic and complex.Arial Robinson

Naomi Merlain
Howard University, IRL Creator
Naomi Merlain
Howard University, IRL Creator
Naomi Merlain
Howard University, IRL Creator
Naomi Merlain, Howard University, IRL Creator

Naomi Merlain is a photographer, filmmaker and writer studying at Howard University. She aims to document and present the Black perspective. Her work strives to showcase the intersectionalities of our reality through our lens and view, while also humanizing the Black experience.

As an IRL Creator, Naomi is creating two films that explore Black ancestry as a way of showcasing her story and an inside look into her creative process.

Naomi Merlain is a photographer, filmmaker and writer studying at Howard University. She aims to document and present the Black perspective. Her work strives to showcase the intersectionalities of our reality through our lens and view, while also humanizing the Black experience.

As an IRL Creator, Naomi is creating two films that explore Black ancestry as a way of showcasing her story and an inside look into her creative process.

Naomi Merlain is a photographer, filmmaker and writer studying at Howard University. She aims to document and present the Black perspective. Her work strives to showcase the intersectionalities of our reality through our lens and view, while also humanizing the Black experience.

As an IRL Creator, Naomi is creating two films that explore Black ancestry as a way of showcasing her story and an inside look into her creative process.

I have learned to be more intentional with my approach to storytelling. With every idea, I must ask myself “why”, if my “why” isn’t good enough I need to go back to the drawing board.Naomi Merlain

I have learned to be more intentional with my approach to storytelling. With every idea, I must ask myself “why”, if my “why” isn’t good enough I need to go back to the drawing board.Naomi Merlain

I have learned to be more intentional with my approach to storytelling. With every idea, I must ask myself “why”, if my “why” isn’t good enough I need to go back to the drawing board.Naomi Merlain

Cassidy Meyers
Spelman College, IRL Creator
Cassidy Meyers
Spelman College, IRL Creator
Cassidy Meyers
Spelman College, IRL Creator
Cassidy Meyers, Spelman College, IRL Creator

Cassidy Meyers is a senior at Spelman College majoring in photography with a writing minor. Cassidy developed a love of the arts, in particular in photography, as a way to explore intimate and personal portraits of people and beautify their inner light.

As an IRL Creator in the program, her project will explore how photography has inspired confidence in her journey.

Cassidy Meyers is a senior at Spelman College majoring in photography with a writing minor. Cassidy developed a love of the arts, in particular in photography, as a way to explore intimate and personal portraits of people and beautify their inner light.

As an IRL Creator in the program, her project will explore how photography has inspired confidence in her journey.

Cassidy Meyers is a senior at Spelman College majoring in photography with a writing minor. Cassidy developed a love of the arts, in particular in photography, as a way to explore intimate and personal portraits of people and beautify their inner light.

As an IRL Creator in the program, her project will explore how photography has inspired confidence in her journey.

I want to explore who I am, and to frankly speak to how my struggle with self-esteem lead to me using art as an outlet for expression and release.Cassidy Meyers

I want to explore who I am, and to frankly speak to how my struggle with self-esteem lead to me using art as an outlet for expression and release.Cassidy Meyers

I want to explore who I am, and to frankly speak to how my struggle with self-esteem lead to me using art as an outlet for expression and release.Cassidy Meyers

Kendall Robinson
Howard University, IRL Creator
Kendall Robinson
Howard University, IRL Creator
Kendall Robinson
Howard University, IRL Creator
Kendall Robinson, Howard University, IRL Creator

Kendall Robinson is a junior at Howard University. Her main interest involves working with oil paints to create realistic artwork for her clients. By choosing to follow her dream of becoming an artist, she hopes to inspire individuals uncertain about pursuing their passions to follow their dreams and take a leap of faith.

Her IRL Creator project consists of a series of paintings titled “Black Is Beautiful,” showcasing the inherent beauty of students at Howard University.

Kendall Robinson is a junior at Howard University. Her main interest involves working with oil paints to create realistic artwork for her clients. By choosing to follow her dream of becoming an artist, she hopes to inspire individuals uncertain about pursuing their passions to follow their dreams and take a leap of faith.

Her IRL Creator project consists of a series of paintings titled “Black Is Beautiful,” showcasing the inherent beauty of students at Howard University.

Kendall Robinson is a junior at Howard University. Her main interest involves working with oil paints to create realistic artwork for her clients. By choosing to follow her dream of becoming an artist, she hopes to inspire individuals uncertain about pursuing their passions to follow their dreams and take a leap of faith.

Her IRL Creator project consists of a series of paintings titled “Black Is Beautiful,” showcasing the inherent beauty of students at Howard University.

My hope is that this platform will allow me to encourage artistic individuals across the globe to pursue their passions despite what the world tells them. I also aspire to grow as an artist and push myself out of my comfort zone.Kendall Robinson

My hope is that this platform will allow me to encourage artistic individuals across the globe to pursue their passions despite what the world tells them. I also aspire to grow as an artist and push myself out of my comfort zone.Kendall Robinson

My hope is that this platform will allow me to encourage artistic individuals across the globe to pursue their passions despite what the world tells them.Kendall Robinson

David Robinson
North Carolina A&T, IRL Creator
David Robinson
North Carolina A&T, IRL Creator
David Robinson
North Carolina A&T, IRL Creator
David Robinson, North Carolina A&T, IRL Creator

David Robinson is a filmmaker and comedian studying at North Carolina A&T. Attending his HBCU connected him with a community of creatives that constantly push him to produce better content. Through his IRL Creator project, he’s eager to inspire others while representing for his school and community.

David Robinson is a filmmaker and comedian studying at North Carolina A&T. Attending his HBCU connected him with a community of creatives that constantly push him to produce better content. Through his IRL Creator project, he’s eager to inspire others while representing for his school and community.

David Robinson is a filmmaker and comedian studying at North Carolina A&T. Attending his HBCU connected him with a community of creatives that constantly push him to produce better content. Through his IRL Creator project, he’s eager to inspire others while representing for his school and community.

Black creativity has and will continue to unite people — so why not use it as a peaceful weapon of revolution?David Robinson

Black creativity has and will continue to unite people — so why not use it as a peaceful weapon of revolution?David Robinson

Black creativity has and will continue to unite people — so why not use it as a peaceful weapon of revolution?David Robinson

Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins
Tuskegee University, IRL Creator
Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins
Tuskegee University, IRL Creator
Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins
Tuskegee University, IRL Creator
Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins, Tuskegee University, IRL Creator

Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins is a photographer studying at Tuskegee University. Growing up as a Black woman in the south, Kaci has always seen a need for representation of the true Black community in the media — before she picked up a pen or camera. She says she’s grateful that God has merged her love for storytelling into her visual craft.

Her IRL project, titled “My Lens Is Black,” is dedicated to capturing Black life in the purest form.

Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins is a photographer studying at Tuskegee University. Growing up as a Black woman in the south, Kaci has always seen a need for representation of the true Black community in the media — before she picked up a pen or camera. She says she’s grateful that God has merged her love for storytelling into her visual craft.

Her IRL project, titled “My Lens Is Black,” is dedicated to capturing Black life in the purest form.

Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins is a photographer studying at Tuskegee University. Growing up as a Black woman in the south, Kaci has always seen a need for representation of the true Black community in the media — before she picked up a pen or camera. She says she’s grateful that God has merged her love for storytelling into her visual craft.

Her IRL project, titled “My Lens Is Black,” is dedicated to capturing Black life in the purest form.

I want to show the world that HBCU creatives are worth their time and efforts. We are a diverse group of individuals with a plethora of divine gifts to be shared.Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins

I want to show the world that HBCU creatives are worth their time and efforts. We are a diverse group of individuals with a plethora of divine gifts to be shared.Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins

I want to show the world that HBCU creatives are worth their time and efforts. We are a diverse group of individuals with a plethora of divine gifts to be shared.Kaci Merriwether-Hawkins