When Netflix’s marketing arm Strong Black Lead officially launched in 2018, it was a flag in the ground that one of the world’s leading entertainment companies would use its influence to amplify Black voices and creators—and not just during Black History Month or another uprising.
Strong Black Lead has organically evolved from a simple suggestion to elevate Netflix’s catalog of Black programming into a deeper conversation and relationship with Black audiences through podcasts, video content, and campaigns that coalesce around the idea that there’s not a monolithic Black experience or single way to be Black.
“You can’t be a successful brand without having the trust and the equity of Black consumers,” says Maya Watson, director of editorial and publishing at Netflix. “All of us who have been Black at work know that, and I think sometimes it takes corporations a minute to catch up. But at Netflix, we’re a small group of Black people who were like, ‘We want to go build some stuff for the Black audience,’ and they’re like, ‘Okay, what do you need?’”