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Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Denise McNair are the names of the four young Black girls who lost their lives to senseless bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL in 1963. The racial terrorism sparked outrage in the Black community and ignited the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination against women, race, religion and ethnicity.

Almost 50 years later we take the opportunity to celebrate the hopes and aspirations of four young Black girls who have shattered records and made history over the past year. Gabrielle Douglas, Coco Jones, Quevenzhane Wallis and Willow Smith epitomize the hopes and dreams of young Black girls around the world.  As they continue to excel and break boundaries, we remember the four little girls who lost their lives all those years ago, and we celebrate four little girls who are fulfilling the promise and upholding the legacy of the many who lost their lives in the struggle for civil rights.

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For 2024’s iteration of MadameNoire and HelloBeautiful’s annual series Women to Know, we knew we wanted to celebrate the people who help make the joys of film and television possible. To create art is to create magic. This year, we spotlight Hollywood Executive’s changing the face of cinema.