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Dr. Yaba Blay has dedicated her entire career to uplifting and studying Black identity, and her latest project is perhaps the culminating moment in her career. After a rockstar Kickstarter campaign that shattered her inital goals in just a few days, her web series Professional Black Girl: Season Two is gearing up to film in New Orleans bigger and better than ever.

Dr. Blay, who is the Dan Blue Endowed Chair in Political Science at North Carolina Central University, started Professional Black girl is a way to celebrate true Black Girl Magic because, as she says, “round-the-way girls got magic too!.” With a website and corresponding webseries, she celebrated women from all walks of life with real conversations about haircare, style and “the simple joys of being a Black girl.”

“While we’re out here celebrating the Michelle Obamas and Serena Williams of the world, we were forgetting just who they were before they became who they are,” she says of the series.

After an amazing run during season one, which premiered in September 2016, she set her sights on season two being bigger and better than ever. This time, she wanted to film in her hometown of New Orleans, whose true culture is “Blackity Black!”

And while she’s hit her initial goal, production can definitely be expensive, so make sure to show Dr. Blay and Professional Black Girls around the country tons of love.

The Kickstarter campaign runs through February 13, 2018. Donate to it here.

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.