“Why so much pressure?”
As an African American in entertainment, we have worked tirelessly to aim at finding our place in the business. And over the years, we have placed pressure behind studios and television networks who make dollars from us, yet don’t want the representation present. So here we are today with that same push in the industry.
And with the success of the most recent movie, Black Panther, are more filmmakers who are Black going to be expected to make the same decisions now as Coogler? But the topic for today is why are we expected to only make films with a Black conscious to them?
I remember looking through both my sisters Victoria Secret catalogs as a young boy seeing Adriana Lima. And from that time until now has been 18 years, and I still have an attraction toward Brazilian women. Just my curiosity at the age of 12 years old. I wanted to know what was her name, where she came from, who else is from this country.
And this is where the push from so many Black artists come from. The idea that these images last forever and that so many young people are seeing someone that looks like them doing great things. Even the Cosby Show has spurred out a generation of young Black professionals in their careers. Why, well because the wife was an attorney and the father was a doctor. Black kids at that time didn’t think we were “allowed” to be doctors and lawyers.
For me as an Indie filmmaker and soon to be photographer, I have so many ideas that paint Black people in a positive light. But I also have ideas that I would like to incorporate other groups as well. So where does the line between making art for the sake of art, and having an obligation to the ethnic group in which you belong?
Because a lot of people would say just make art. But there are so many negative connotations and interpretations of Black people in America, that if I have the ability to put something out there that is painting us in a positive light, then why not. Because when there is nothing good about a group to say or show, it becomes the face of the group.
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