Marsai Martin exudes the confidence we all probably should have

A lot can be learned from the younger generation. They’re technologically-advanced, they’re hip to the latest dances, they’re breaking generational curses, and in the case of Marsai Martin, they exude a level of confidence that garners success some of us are still trying to obtain.

At 16 years old, Marsai Martin — who is most known for her role in ABC’s “Black-ish” — has acted alongside the likes of Regina Hall, Tracee Ellis Ross, Anthony Anderson and Issa Rae. She’s the youngest executive producer in Hollywood, and she’s currently gearing up to add talk show host to her budding list of accomplishments.

This month, Martin appeared as the premiere cover girl for Girls United, Essence’s Generation Z magazine. During her interview, she recalled proposing the idea for the 2019 comedy Little to a group of executives including Will Packer and “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris.

“Honestly, when I pitched the film, I thought about it as a whole bunch of dudes sitting around a table talking about our projects and what we have in our heads,” she said. “I really didn’t think of it as a nerve-wracking thing. Math equations scare me a lot more than public speaking.”

Part of her success can be attributed to her awareness of Black minds and the magic that they create, which some people are only conveniently aware of following the recent Black Lives Matter movements. But the root of her triumphs appears to be her confidence, instilled in her by her parents who also happen to double up as her managers. 

The beauty of self-assuredness, however, is that she’s aware of who she is and uninterested in downplaying her talents or playing another character to appease the people around her.

“I’m always myself,” she said. “I’m in the space I’m in right now because I was just always unapologetically myself.”

“I never want to pretend to be someone that I’m not. Every step that I take is true to me.”

Martin has countlessly expressed her desires to be an inspiration to Black youth, but the truth is that we —millennials and older — would all benefit in taking notes on what one can achieve when we stay true to ourselves.   

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