Fashion model, activist and industry leader Bethann Hardison may be known as a groundbreaker in the fashion role, but she is now adding a new line to her resume- actress. Yes, the model and actress is set to have a recurring role in the fourth season of the CW’s “Black Lightning.”
The DC Comics-inspired show will feature Hardison, who is set to play a marriage counselor for the show’s two leads. “I have about six episodes plus. It’s amazing. I’m nervous as hell,” Hardison shared. In fact, the show’s creator Salim Akil sent Hardison a text mentioning he had a role for her.
With a career spanning more than four decades, Hardison is more than just a model or name in the fashion industry; she is a titan credited for help paving the way for models as both a booking agent and agency owner. In 1988, she founded the Black Girls Coalition with Iman to celebrate and to provide a platform and voice to Black models. This community, including names like Naomi Campbell (who even calls her ‘Ma’), Veronica Webb and Karen Alexander, quickly grew into a watchdog group advocating for the support of African-American models working to address the underrepresentation of people of color in advertising, runways shows and editorial fashion magazines.
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With a big smile on my face… “challenge accepted”. I thank you @kimblackwellpmm @irisknowsbest for choosing me. Appreciate your support and recognition. But right back at you. We are of the same tribe, as women often are. Grateful to be respected, as we continue to be there for one another. I send you ❤️. #womensupportingwomen
While the fashion industry is significantly different from when she got her start in the ’60s Garment District, her activism only grew. Hardison now consults and advises for the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and is on their Board of Directors, and most recently, becoming Gucci’s Executive Advisor for Global Equity and Cultural Engagement. In an interview with Emmy-Winner Zendaya, Hardison shared for the past two years; she’s been working with young designers of color, helping them build their brands and businesses.
Bethann Hardison serves as an icon for women to break barriers, using her beauty and intelligence to inspire women of all generations. Bethann can continue to connect with women, aside from those who knew her through the modeling world, through her acting role now serving as a guiding figure to a whole new generation of women.
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What a week… As we close down the year and surely many are thinking “what a year”! For me this was the year that allowed me to know more about myself and how I am still determined. Where most are retiring for sure by this age, I find that life continues to present a new wave to surf. Like many, I wondered about my finances, which, where and how ? Not truly until this year did I really take to heart and mind what my dear Iman @the_real_iman said to me many years ago, that “you are relevant”. I tried to say, “so were certain other people” she would clarify the difference. With all that I have achieved, I never gave myself too much credit. I was busy just changing the world around me, because that was my revolutionary calling. Grateful I am also to @naomi who would not allow me to lay back too long, as she would call me to arms. She knew I would persevere. She knew to help save our industry and the models of color that a significant respected disruptor was needed. That be me..”Ma, you need to come back it’s bad”. She was my eyes. Blessed them both because, when I stepped up, they stood strong. Success was had. This year, recognition and honor is being given to me, as I find ways to help others to be stronger at what they do. I have been given an opportunity to survive comfortably. My recent plight to help strengthen the businesses of young designer brands of color has given me “flight”, next level. I do what I do because I am called to do. Thank you @cfda Grateful that I am rewarded by a luxury brand like Gucci that reached out to join forces with me. While we help the global world with their initiatives #changemakers, it also affords me to help my world of black designers. I want to thank all for the support and gratitude. Especially for being so happy seeing me in Gucci pre-fall 2020 lookbook. @gucci and the vision of @alessandro_michele. All to say..,it’s not how you start, not the bumps along the way, but it’s how we end. Grateful for another year of learning that we are meant to survive, especially if you are a “do-gooder”. But for sure this year because I still see the support, the respect and acknowledgements, I am relevant. So grateful !
While “Black Lightning” is a new opportunity for the legendary Bethann Hardison, this isn’t her first acting role, appearing in Christine Turner’s 2017 Sundance Film “Hold On.”