Behind all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood stands a community of entertainment reporters getting all the juicy details you love reading in magazines and watching on TV. Sade Spence is one of those woman, and as the industry is now focused on amplifying Black voices and implementing long-overdue reform, Sade is on the frontlines using her voice and her platform to speak out and change history so future female BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) reporters can continue to make waves in the world of red carpets.
Sade - who has interviewed the likes of Will Smith, Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio - has established herself as a sought-after, respected, and celebrated reporter in the industry. She has traveled the world covering celebrity news, from chatting with Scarlett Johnasson in London on the set of Marvel’s Black Widow, to hosting at The Grammys’ red carpet in Los Angeles. Another one of her accomplishments? Being an activist and a force for change. Sade has been using her platform to educate her followers about the Black Lives Matter movement by providing educational resources, partaking in protests, speaking her truth, and encouraging others to focus on self-care and stay strong both mentally and physically through this trying yet crucial time in history.
Although Hollywood has been quiet lately in the wake of COVID-19, Sade’s voice has never been louder. She spoke exclusively to GLAMOUR South Africa about the worldwide protests following George Floyd’s death, and how she as a Black reporter feels empowered to fight for a better future. Sade also revealed what she thinks about celebrity reactions to the protests, her advice for Black women pursuing a career in media, and the importance of BLM allies supporting their friends on the frontlines through wellness check-ins.
GLAMOUR: Can you tell us about your background in the entertainment industry?
Sade Spence: I'm an entertainment reporter and on-camera talent, having worked with AMC Theatres, Variety, Billboard, The GRAMMYs, The Grio, HelloBeautiful and more on red carpet events, movie premieres, press junkets, and more covering film, celebrity, music, and pop culture while highlighting the stories of women and Black people.
GLAMOUR: What would you say to the next generation of black women pursuing a career in media? What should they know?
SS: I'd want them to know they're going to have to work twice or three times as hard to make it in the industry and while the beginning of their career may mean working for little to no pay they should always know their value. With that said, they should always be prepared and ready to think on their feet. Be open to critiques and adjust accordingly.
GLAMOUR: What element of your career most empowers you?
SS: I feel the best when I know I've asked a question the celebrity hasn't been asked before or something that moves them emotionally. I specifically work to make the voices of women and BIPOC heard, so when I am able to get a celebrity like Angelina Jolie, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Will Smith to speak candidly about those topics and how it influences movies and popular culture is truly rewarding for me.
GLAMOUR: Who are some celebs you think have really used their platforms in monumental ways during this time?
SS: In this time, I truly applaud the celebrities and brands who are loud with their activism, openly condemning racism and calling out the justice system for failing Black and Brown people. Celebs who are using their platforms to call their followers to action.
John Boyega of the Star Wars franchise has constantly dealt with racist fans, but he continued to denounce them and lead a Black Lives Matter protest, risking his own career. Insecure and HTGAWM's Kendirck Thompson has always been an advocate for change, having established his own organization called Build Power which works with entertainers and athletes to advocate for social change while dismantling systemic oppression.
He's been protesting since day one, even having been hit repeatedly with rubber bullets. He's repeatedly done interviews or hopped on social media to break down the type of change our communities would like to see.
Ariana Grande, Madison Beer, Sophie Turner (while pregnant) took to the streets to protest. Lady Gaga matched bail funds. Beyonce's PSA. Many have encouraged others to sign petitions. Every little bit of action helps when it's from a place of desire for real change, not Insta likes
GLAMOUR: What are some of your favorite black owned businesses in the fashion space?
SS: Rihanna's Savage X Fenty for all of your undergarment needs. Beyonce's Ivy Park for cute, fitness gear.
GLAMOUR: At such a critical time, people are feeling a mix of emotions. How can people prioritize mental health and self-care, while also being a staunch advocate?
SS: Personally, I advise making time for yourself. Right now, we are living in a really sensitive time and being in touch with yourself and how you are feeling is of the utmost importance. Since I'm religious (Christian), I prefer to start my mornings with devotionals to get into a relaxed and positive headspace.
If you aren't religious, try meditating. If you notice yourself feeling stressed or anxious as the day progresses, turn off the news or turn off your social media. It's OK to take a break from it all and go for a walk. I strongly advise doing activities that bring you joy. Just because the world feels like it's on fire, doesn't mean you aren't allowed to have joy. All of this plays apart in how healthy and well you will be for the long days ahead. Plus, Black joy is a form of resistance.
GLAMOUR: How important are wellness check-ins? How can BLM allies check in on their Black friends and actively help them stay strong physically and mentally?
SS: Wellness check-ins are very important. Right now, Black people are feeling a range of emotions. Speaking for myself, I've felt anxious, tired, sad, fearful, hopeful, all at the same time. Checking-in with your friends and genuinely asking how they are doing and listening without sparking debate or preaching about how a protest should be, etc. is critical. I don't speak for all Black people, but personally, I've truly appreciated friends checking-in on me.
Even if your friend does not respond, I'd encourage you to check-in with them later. There's alot going on and sometimes it all feels like too much. That and the fact that suddenly a lot of our phones and emails are inundated with messages from people we haven't spoken to in years... Regardless, I know, I truly appreciate it when it comes from a friend and a genuine place of care. Also, remind your Black friends to eat and drink water. Remind your friends it's OK to feel joy during this time. Remind your friends that allies are stepping up, you included, and that they don't have to feel like they are taking on the fight alone anymore.
GLAMOUR: How has protesting and being on the front lines inspired you and made you feel strong?
SS: It is inspiring to see so many BIPOC and allies together championing a better future for all of us. America is truly great for a small few and the Black Lives Matter movement has shifted and is affecting the way Black people are treated in their neighborhoods, their communities, in universities and the workplace this could not have been done without Black people and allies pushing for transparency across the board. Seeing this type of community while protesting both physically and online is truly exciting and motivating.
Strong is an interesting word when it comes to the struggle of Black people and particularly Black women. It's often created a false narrative that's led to lack of mental health awareness and proper healthcare in the community, so I'd say I feel empowered when I see people from all walks of life working to make America great for everyone.
GLAMOUR: Where can people follow you online?
SS: Instagram, Twitter: @SadeASpence
“Over The BS” podcast is my podcast and with fellow Black entertainment reporter Blair Thompson covering the latest gripes in pop culture and the Black community -- from mental health to Doja Cat -- nothings off the table. anchor.fm/overthebs-show
GLAMOUR: What are your future goals for 2020, career/personal/etc?
SS: I'm looking forward to continuing this fight for equality and using my skills as an entertainment reporter to evoke change, whether that's on the red carpet or protesting in the community. That, and dating more. Lol!
Got a fitness question? Email Sebastien at [email protected] for his expert opinion!