Jemele Hill on Stephen Colbert
(Stephen Colbert)

Black Girl Magic represented at ComplexCon 2018, where writer-producer Lena Waithe, writer actress Issa Rae, actress Yara Shahidi and award-winning journalist Jemele Hill dished about navigating the entertainment industry.

“I want to be respected equally across the board,” Nadeska Alexis (producer and moderator of Complex’s Everyday Struggle), said during ComplexCon(versations)which was led by Hill.

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“The sociopolitical culture doesn’t necessarily align in any way with the creative culture,” Shahidi stated during the discussion, while Waithe noted: “Dudes are just scared now, so we get to kinda use that to our benefit a little bit.”

When Hill asks the panel about the best advice they have each received from female mentors, Alexis noted that it’s all about the way a woman of color presents herself to the world.

“Being a woman of color, especially when you’re moving through corporate America, you have to be cognizant of how you speak and present yourself ‘cause there’s the “e-word,” Hill said.

“Emotional is a word I feel they throw at women a lot. I’ve worked with some insane men, who will scream and flip tables over and do crazy things but they’re never called emotional. That’s just them being aggressive. I’ve always been told to work hard but just be conscious of the way you speak and present yourself,” Hill added.

Later in the conversation, Issa Rae noted how she had to be “resilient” early in her career during those moments when she realized “not everything is going to be a hit.”

Speaking of making Hollywood hits, for the March issue of Nylon magazine, which is in honor of Women’s History Month, Waithe noted the important of the legacy she hopes to leave behind.

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“I just don’t want to make things that are forgettable. I want to make things that make you feel something and, as long as it makes you feel something, that’s all I care about,” she said.

The 34-year-old Emmy winner had to “pound the pavements” of Los Angeles when she first landed from Chicago.

“I really did have to come out here and pound the pavement and figure it out. I didn’t have any connections, can’t make any calls, but I was just like, I’m going to give it everything I have.”