FEMINIST FRIDAY: New Web Series “Ashley’s World” Empowering Black Single Mothers

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday – that part of our week where we get to gather round a handful of our fave videos of the moment and share them with our readers! This week we’re crossing a number of different mediums to get our feminist fix, from music videos to feature films. But first up, a new web series that combines humor, real life struggles, and some much-needed expanded representation in media.

‘Ashley’s World’ debuted online in February, and was created and produced by Janelle Stein and Domingo Martin. Set in within the impoverished New York City housing projects in the Bronx, the dramedy follows the journey of Ashley, a young single mother who is fighting to overcome poverty and follow her dreams of becoming a professional, working actor while caring for her demanding, yet loving family. Ashley lives in an all-female multi-generational household with her old school, conservative, eccentric mother and her rebellious teenage daughter, Penny.

Throughout the season, there are various themes explored such as subliminal racism, dating, parenthood and marijuana use.

“This is an important story that showcases a modern family unlike any other web series or television show”, said executive producer Janelle Stein in a press release.

“Though the story is fictional, it is inspired by real circumstances in my life. It is reflective of many individuals in the urban community, the performing arts realm and young single mothers. Though we don’t often see some of these stories and characters, they do exist. We want to make sure they have a voice.”

You can see full episodes on the website, and check out the trailer below:

The second feature this week is a music video from LA-based punk rockers The Regrettes who are dialing up the girl power in the video for their single ‘Come Through’. It was directed by Claire Marie Vogel, and the production was made up of an all-female crew, including choreographer, hair and makeup artist, producer, production designer, and more.

According to a press release about the female empowerment visual feast, the story centers on lead singer Lydia Night who is working to free herself from a toxic relationship and cultivate her own self-confidence.

“’Come Through’ is about feeling like you’re someone’s bitch and taking back your power!” she said. We’re ALL about women finding their power and confidence and stepping into this! Check out the video below, and be sure to get your hands on a copy of the album ‘Attention Seeker’ where you can find ‘Come Through’ and other great tracks which is available now.

The final video this week is a trailer to a new feature film which recently debuted on Netflix, titled ‘First Match’. Hardened by years in foster care, a teenage girl from Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood decides that joining the all-boys’ wrestling team is the only way back to her estranged father. The film stars Elvire Emanuelle, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Colman Domingo, Jharrel Jerome and Jared Kemp. From producers Chanelle Elaine, Veronica Nickel and Bryan Unkeless, First Match is the first feature film for writer/director Olivia Newman.

But there is more to this feature film and it’s back story. ‘First Match’ started out as a short film, released in 2014 as part of the Film School Shorts program, which is a national public television series showcasing emerging filmmakers. Olivia Newman, the filmmaker, presents a compelling story about the challenges young women face while navigating gender stereotypes.

As part of our ongoing mission to support and promote the work of female filmmakers, we’re excited to see Olivia has such huge success with her project and hope our readers feel the same. Below we have shared the original short film, as well as a trailer to the feature on Netflix which is streaming now.


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