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“It blew my mind the first time I saw a black character on an HBO show that wasn’t in jail. Diversity is important because the world is diverse.”

—Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins was recognized on The Root 100 this year for his work changing narratives through the theatrical arts. In 2016, Jacobs-Jenkins was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant, and his play Gloria was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

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See more about how the playwright changes race narratives in the above video.