I’m not ashamed that I look up to a 14-year-old girl: Marsai Martin exemplifies that you’re never too “Little” to accomplish big dreams
By Jordan Harris
Before I get into why I look up to and admire a 14-year-old girl, let’s all take a moment to stop and think about what we were doing and accomplishing at the age of 14.
…Now, after putting deep thought into such old child memories, I’m pretty sure you were not nearly as successful as this young talented African-American queen.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t either, but if you were, LUCKY YOU.
However, for the other 90% of us who were not getting to the bag and taking over Hollywood, you were probably like myself — going to school, doing all the extracurricular activities you could to stay out the house as much as possible, hoping and praying for the day you could get a job and work for your own money, ending the cycle of you crossing your fingers and toes (for extra good luck) every time you needed money to buy or do anything.
Thank God I had parents who were lenient, but not everyone was as lucky as I was.
Anyway, no matter how lucky you or your parents were, no one I can think of has topped 14-year-old Marsai Martin.
Originally from Texas, Marsai started off in the entertainment business at such a young age.
Marsai was grinding before she could fully talk. But when I heard about the premiere of “Little” and read that she executive produced the film herself, I was geeked and wanted to learn more about the other great things she has done and what else she is working on.
At just five years old, Marsai landed a national commercial for Choice Hotels, later moving to LA to pursue her acting career, according to her bio.
This is where the magic happens.
After moving to LA, she immediately landed a role as Diane Johnson in the ABC comedy series “Black-ish.”
“Black-ish.” is based on a black family living in a “classy neighborhood” where most African Americans never make it to. Throughout the series, the audience goes through life with the Johnson family, really focusing on what it’s like to be a black family in today’s world, all while Rainbow and Dre (mom and dad) teach their kids to always honor and remember their background and where they came from.
Of course, the show is filmed with a boat load of comedic relief.
Marsai plays one of the children in the show, a role that won her the Young Artist Award for her role as Diane.
That’s not all. Young Marsai has won not one but TWO NAACP Image Awards and was nominated for six NAACP image awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performances by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series nomination.
She was also named one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential Teens of 2018.
Remember she is 14!!
But wait, there’s more.
Marsai Martin’s latest accomplishment is something HUGE, but ironically also “Little”! It’s something that has just, never been done before.
She’s become the youngest executive producer in Hollywood, coming up with the idea and producing the movie “Little” starring herself, Regina Hall and Issa Rae.
In an inteview on the day-time talkshow “The View,” Marsai was of course asked about her latest movie “Little,” the ideas behind it and how it made it to the big screen.
“One of my mom’s favorite movies growing up was “Big” starring Tom Hanks so I saw Big and I was like well what if we do this in like, a different perspective, more of a modern take on what’s going on now and make it a female empowerment, all black women cast. So that’s really how it came to be and we started talking about it and my parents were really into it and we talked to Kenya Barris — which is the creator of “Black-ish”– we talked to him about it, he loved it, and then we went to Will Packer and then Universal, and now where here,” she told the panel.
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Just listening to Marsai and hearing the vision of someone so young, with dreams so big, and turning them into reality as a minority is just so empowering.
She then explained how she grew up watching TV where she did not see a lot of young black girls that looked like her in the industry who she could look up to and wanted to change that and create something where everyone felt comfortable.
That is exactly what she did. And people are supporting and celebrating her through it all, many hosted free screenings of the movie throughout the country.
Kandi Burruss, singer and Real Housewives of Atlanta star, sponsored a free screening of “Little” in Atlanta on Easter Sunday, giving people enough time to make it to church then the show.
Kandi did not stop there however, as she also challenged Cynthia Bailey, Porsha Williams, Nene Leakes and Eva Marcille to the same task in spreading this…
Black Girl Magic.
If you ever see this Marsai, just know that I STAN!
Me and all the other Black Queens who are rooting on the success of our fellow sisters and brothers.
You are doing US ALL justice, so continue to shine your light, making this world a better place.