Tiana Walsh, the acclaimed actress reshaping Black history.

Photo ​​By jabbar walker 
“Young, gifted and black, oh what a lovely precious dream”. The powerful words sung by Nina Simone in 1970 still resonate strongly in Tiana Walsh's story, a successful actress, 24 years old, from Jamaica. In 2021, she entered the Hollywood game with a bang, starring in “To the girl that looks like me” an Oscar nominated short by Ewurakua Dawson Amoah, the brilliant director and founder of the Melacast Network. It’s a platform dedicated to connecting BIPOC actors, directors, and crew of color with the opportunities, talent, and resources needed to tell culturally rich & diverse stories in film. Taking on this role was Tiana's first major role, and for her it was important to be part of a film that had a positive message about black women. 

“After speaking to her (Ewurakua) I could tell this film was going to touch the hearts of a lot of people. The message for the film was about celebrating black women and I wanted to be a part of something like this that had purpose. The message surrounded culture and self love and as an artist, to be a part of something so powerful is an absolute dream.”

As a result of her performance, the film made its way to not only the Academy Awards, but also some of the most prestigious festivals around the US and North America, including the Long distance film festival, the Nffty, the Toronto black film festival, the Raindance film festival, the Indie short fest, and Cinequest. A television premiere also occurred on NBC during the Target Scene in Color series. The series was produced by Will Packer and dedicated to giving a spotlight to BIPOC talent who shape conversations and influence culture for the better. (Miguel Rodriguez, SVP, Production Operations, Creative Partnerships, Advertising & Partnerships, and Steven Rummer, SVP, Strategy and Creative Partnerships, Advertising & Partnerships at NBC).

Tiana's success ignited something in her. It made her want to act in movies that carried the same message. She returned with Gold Token, the newest movie from Ewurakua Dawson Amoah. In this new collaboration, the actress and director further their research and explore Black ancestry, tokenism, cyclical pains, and ultimately how society uses the black experience, especially in recent years, as an aesthetical piece for consumption. (Ewurakua Dawson Amoah for Directorsnotes.com).

“I personally feel like the film has created a lot of doors for black creatives to express how they feel and opens doors for black stories to be seen and heard. One of my most powerful lines was "stop letting them tell you, you sound white when you speak in full sentences". Those are very powerful words and I feel like that could really touch the hearts of so many people.”
Within no time, Tiana Walsh's talent attracted the attention of another talented director working toward the same goal. Director Moise Morrancy has cast her as one of New York's Black Panthers in The Warriors (2022). The trajectory of Tiana's career doesn't end here, as she is also working on her directorial debut:
“I'm currently working on directing and acting in my own short film. I have educational experience in directing and acting, so I thought it would be great to combine both of my talents and showcase my work. I believe I am multifaceted and this is my opportunity to show the world and create a great story through film.”
There's more to come for Tiana Walsh, the young talent who helps reshape Black history. Yet, she has already given us so much to cheer about. While we wait for more from her in the years to come, you'll hear us humming this wonderful melody more than once:

“Oh, but my joy of today
Is that we can all be proud to say
"To be young, gifted and black
Is where it's at"
Nina Simone (To Be Young, Gifted and Black)

Article By Vincent Jacob

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