I verbally outlined beats for the first act of a screenplay to my graduate class. My professor ingested this information; he mulled it over and responded with a nod, “Yeah, I can dig it.” He could dig it? This wasn’t the late 1960’s nor mid ‘70s. I wasn’t sporting bell bottoms, or a manicured fro with a black power fist hair pick. There were no psychedelic guitar licks in the background driving this narrative forward. It was freaking 2009 and the first black president was in office. And he, my professor, he could dig it? He was picking up what I was laying down. This man had been a part of the Hollywood system, and had made a good living. The very Hollywood system that still celebrates The Birth of A Nation as a classic. A system that had served up tales of ignorance and indignation via subservient lampooning, cooning, caricatures for decades. That system. Thank God I grew up in the ‘80s when times were a changing. And the images that I saw growing up on the big screen…actually looked like me. Images like those depicted in the (1986) film Soul Man.
Release Date: 04/21/2019