Unifier Makeen Zachery centers Black women at the forefront of culture.
“The internet can be such a harmful place for Black women, and when I looked around for existing spaces that celebrated us for all that we are, I couldn’t find any,” says 22-year-old Makeen Zachery, founder of Blk Girl Culture and the Black Girl BluePrint podcast—two endeavors founded to solve the problems she observed. Zachery possesses a tenacity that led her, with this issue in mind, to create those spaces to fill exactly that void—for Black women to be celebrated for all that we are.
Blk Girl Culture, created in 2014, serves as a platform for Black women to converse, commune, and celebrate the resilience, creativity, and sisterhood that remains deeply sacred. Blk Girl Culture is an escape, a place that was created for Black women, by Black women.
In a time where social media and technology reign supreme, Blk Girl Culture serves as a digital hotspot where culturally relevant conversations are intertwined with activism, education, and the sharing of knowledge. To date, Blk Girl Culture has amassed an unwavering community of over 150,000 followers.
She is also founder of the Black Girl Blueprint Podcast, born out of similar needs as Blk Girl Culture.
“With podcasts being such a rapidly growing business on the internet, we thought folks like us, 20-something Black women, deserve to hear their voices too,” says Zachery. The Black Girl Blueprint podcast hosts weekly conversations, catered to gen Z and millennial Black women. Listenership up 161% from last year, and the podcast is played in over 30 countries.
Social impact is facet of importance and action to Zachery, who is co-founder, along with Zoe Jackson and Hawa Sall, of the The Four Women Fund. This fund offers financial support to Black womxn who find themselves in positions of need due to the Covid-19 pandemic and current political climate.
“[The Four Women Fund] was truly a grassroots effort grown out of the pain of bearing witness to the racial injustices of 2020, while Black women were experiencing the worst of the economic and health effects of the pandemic,” says Zachery. The fund has distributed over $10,000 to Black wxmen in need—over 57% of whom they helped belong to the LGBTQIA+ community. Though the fund is currently on pause, Zachery emphasizes that the need to support Black wxmen remains top of mind.
So what’s next for Zachery? I ask where she sees herself in five years.
“By age 27 I hope to be in a position to help others grow strategically. I hope that I am able to put my business knowledge back into the community, to help Black-owned brands position themselves strategically and grow organically on the internet and beyond,” she says.
Centering Blackness is tied to the empowerment and bettering of all Blacks folks. To be able to both support the growth of your community and one’s own personal growth, and to be able to leverage your talents to directly impact the liberation of others—that is the future of Black History.