Rachel Hartley

Actor, Screenwriter, Director

I started this business literally the week before the COVID-19 stay at home order began. I was so to begin my journey of creativity, but I did not know what that would entail due to the virus. Then the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery happened and the walls of the world started to close in on me. There was no way I could feel anything, and my hope for anything flew out the window along with the spirits of so many Black people who were not only killed at the hands of the virus, but also at the hands of a ruthless system that we live in.

I began to wake up late in the day, not knowing what would come of all of this. Not knowing if I would survive anything of this world as a Black woman. I thought I had finally figured it out, and ended up feeling wrong, insecure, and failure once again.

Those were lies I told myself, due to the fact that my insecurities were getting the best of me. I had to ask myself who did I feel I had to prove myself to when creating this business? Why did I feel the need to put myself down due to something that was so unprecedented? I felt as though the world was continuing to play a sick joke on Black people, especially in Portland where police brutality became even more present during the rightful protests that occurred.

I never thought the day would come where I would have created my own entertainment company in Portland, and I would have never known the strength I would need to gain in order to stay confident even though my self-esteem was snatched once again by the system.

The faith, strength, and determination it takes to be a Black person I believe from my own experiences is magical. To constantly pick up the pieces and find our way back home in self-love is difficult, and necessary to survive. Even though our own community has a need for discussions regarding the historical issues that we go through, Black women have been standing strong, are standing strong, and will continue to stand strong despite the continuous odds we are forced to face. As a proud Black woman, I have chosen to face these odds, along with so many other Black women, and I am standing strong.

I am choosing today to not let my insecurities get the best of me, and I am choosing to take action over myself, my brand, and my new business as the budding owner of Black Rose Entertainment LLC. This company is in honor of the Black people who came before me, and so that I can be a representative for young Black women since far too often the entertainment industry shuns and silences us. I know for a fact because I have attempted to gain traction in the industry here and have fallen flat. These are lessons I take with me every day and are the foundation of the positive prayers and wishes I send to Black women like me. Black women who dream, and Black women who are passionate about what they believe in.

I am honored and proud to be a part of this new journey of Black-owned businesses in the day and age of COVID-19. I do hope that my business can create a positive impact in my hometown of NE Portland, OR, and beyond.