“Being socially aware has always been a very strong value in my family and in my life,” says American director Melina Matsoukas (@msmelina). “I really try to use my platform to say something, to create some sort of change and initiate a conversation that is not happening — or continue a conversation.” The two-time Grammy winner’s work has proven that art remains a powerful engine to encourage dialogue. “I’ve always loved this idea of political art. We’ve seen that through the civil rights movement, and it’s definitely continued now with a lot of artists, in music, TV and film,” says Melina. And her collaborations with iconic artists like Beyoncé (@beyonce) are no accident. “I like people who are courageous and who aren’t scared of saying something that’s different than what everybody else is saying.” This month, we’re sharing the stories of African-American community members in celebration of #BlackHistoryMonth, which runs through February in the US. Photo by @msmelina

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