SOHH linked up with filmmaker and founder of Black Girls Don’t Get Love, Eden Strachan. Her philanthropic endeavor was inspired by her senior thesis at Ithaca and empowers women of color.
Filmmaker and founder of Black Girls Don’t Get Love, Eden Strachan connected with SOHH to discuss her work and inspirations. Strachan’s earliest works, particularly her senior thesis from Ithaca College, have provided an outlet for empowerment and support for women of color.
It has also allowed her to pursue a career in media and entertainment. Strachan was able to raise close to $30,000 in sponsorships.
SOHH: “What film or show did you watch growing up made you want to pick up a camera and work in media/entertainment? Was it the same movie that made you want to go into journalism?”
Eden Strachan: “My story is a bit different, actually. It wasn’t a specific film or show that got me interested in the media industry. It was actually the real-life stories I saw play out in my community. I grew up in Syracuse, New York, one of the top poorest cities in the county. Despite the challenges people around me were facing, I saw so much goodness and humanity in my community, and I wanted to help capture that. My career started in journalism, but after working in development in LA, I found my passion in scripted content.”
SOHH: “What was the first official film/show/project you remember working on? What role did you play in it, and are you proud of the finished project?”
ES: “Black Girls Don’t Get Love was my first major project. It was my senior thesis. Then after graduation, I wrote the Black Girls Don’t Get Love book. I am really proud of it because, in less than a year, my team and I built a successful brand out of a concept that started as a thesis film.”
SOHH: “What are some lessons you’ve learned either for your career or for your personal life while working at such established outlets?”
ES: “I was fortunate that early in my career, I had the opportunity to train and work at many of the major media companies. The biggest lessons I have taken away from these experiences is that industry standards matter even on an independent level. If you want your work to be taken seriously, it has to be at a level that professionals will see potential.”
SOHH: “If you had to describe yourself to a complete stranger using only three movies or shows, what would they be?”
ES: “That’s So Raven, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Sleepless in Seattle.”
SOHH: “Why do you feel there’s a need for Black creators?”
ES: “I don’t just think there’s a need for Black creators; I believe we also need to be specific in saying that there is a need to create spaces for Black female creators. Creators who desire to defy existing character tropes and tell honest stories that represent the lives of everyday people.”
SOHH: “What situations drew you toward making Black Girls Don’t Get Love the theme of your thesis and now your lifestyle brand, book, and feature film?”
ES: “My entire childhood, I believed I was ugly. Not because I actually was, but because that’s what society led me to believe. And those ideas were reinforced every day in my grade school. My classmates never ceased to remind me that I was different. I remember these moments vividly because they defined my childhood. In college, like many others, I found my voice. I learned about the greats like Audre Lorde, Bell Hooks, and Patricia Hill Collins, who so powerfully articulated the trauma that society could inflict on the fragile self-esteem of a young Black girl growing up in America. These works empowered me.”
SOHH: “Do you have any future projects or ventures you’re working on that you’d like to share with SOHH’s audience?”
ES: “Please keep an eye out for all things Black Girls Don’t Get Love! We recently released our audiobook and merch. And currently, we are working to fundraise for our feature film. For anyone interested in learning more or for ways to support us, please visit our website at blackgirlsdontgetlove.com.”
In honor of Black History Month, SOHH spotlighted ten of the best Black innovators within the entertainment, media, and lifestyle industries. The list includes Eden Strachan among other noted filmmakers, authors, and artists.