All Articles Tagged "Blacks in Hollywood"
By Mary Worrell
You may not recognize her name, but if you’ve enjoyed films like “Cadillac Records” and “For Colored Girls”, you’ve certainly seen her vision and work come to life on the big screen. Johnetta Boone, a 48-year-old married mother of two and Washington, D.C. native, has made a name for herself over the last 30 years in Hollywood as a costume designer.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Boone attended the Duke Ellington School for Performing Arts high school and later the New York Fashion Institute of Technology.
“I went there not really thinking as a teenager that Hollywood be something accessible to me. It was just a fantasy – a feeling moment in thought,” Boone said.
But that fleeting fantasy became a reality soon after arriving in New York, where she lived for 18 years while her career flourished and before returning to D.C. to raise her children. Her foot in the exclusive door to Hollywood came with her first job in college as an assistant to a stylist – a friend’s aunt and former fashion editor who left the magazine industry for life as a freelance stylist. In 1983, only two years after coming to the big apple for college, Boone and her friend started their fashion careers together.
“From there I just never did anything else,” Boone said. “We found our niche and it was wonderful. Back in those days, the industry was very posh. We worked with some amazing photographers and icons of the fashion industry.”
It was through those interactions that Boone learned the ins and outs of the fashion industry, styling and Hollywood. She gleaned all she could from the industry in preparation for what has become a long and diverse career spanning genres–from period fashion to sports uniforms, print photography and commercials, to television and major motion pictures.
“I always wanted to do something behind the scenes, but [I] didn’t know what that was,” she said. “I kept going and chipping away until the moment presented itself.”
Boone worked as an assistant for a number of years while attending college, but eventually the time came for Boone to move on.
“Once we built out careers, like a mother bird she let us fly,” Boone said. “She said I had more than enough experience and gave me my next project.”
Boone struck out on her own and began styling for advertising and magazine editorials, but a unique opportunity arose when she was asked to design for “Showtime at the Apollo” and later the “Apollo Comedy Hour.” Having worked with still photography up until that point, Boone suddenly found inspiration in the moving pictures.
(Kansas City Star) — It’s a wonder that the security guards at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences didn’t stop Mo’nique and make her show ID when she arrived to help announce the Oscar nominations early Tuesday at the organization’s Beverly Hills headquarters. After all, she was the only person of color involved with the extravaganza, since the 83rd annual Oscar nominations have the dubious distinction of being an all-white affair.
(NPR) — In a dimly lit production room in Hollywood, television director Paris Barclay intently scrutinizes a scene from the HBO show In Treatment. Sprawled over a lumpy brown couch, as if in therapy himself, he narrows his eyes in disapproval as editor Joe Hobeck takes him through a sequence, shot by shot. Barclay directed this episode, and he’s one of the series’ executive producers. “Ewww!” Barclay shouts. “Wait, wait, what’s the shot that’s happening when he gets up and it becomes a nothing shot?” Barclay knows from shots. If you’ve watched even a moderate amount of television in the past 15 years, you’ve seen his work. He has directed such old-school favorites as ER and NYPD Blue as well as the most talked-about newbies, including Glee and The Good Wife. He has directed episodes of The West Wing, House, Lost, CSIand many more, collecting multiple Emmys and Peabody awards along the way. Barclay is the vice president — and first African-American officer — of the Directors Guild of America. And he’s an openly gay man, married with two kids. He’s busy.
by China N. Okasi
Innovation is a term that economists still struggle to define when trying to quantify and qualify growth as well as change and evolution in the business world. In a way, there is no simple and direct measure of innovation but here at TAP, we’ve taken a shot at outlining our own criteria for innovation and compiling a list of the five most innovative African-American cities in the U.S. Our ratings systems consists of the city’s entrepreneurship rates, social brand, and political leadership. To be fair, we’ve included employment rates in the ratings, and subtracted points for low African-American unemployment rates. The following American cities, in essence, foster creativity, entrepreneurship and act as centers for positive African-American growth.
5. Twin Cities, Minnesota
Black entrepreneurship rates in the twin cities are quite impressive. According to the most recent Survey of Business Owners conducted by the U.S. Economic Census, black-owned firms grew by 95 percent in Minnesota from 1997 to 2002 (they practically doubled).
In addition, we were impressed by the Minneapolis Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD)’s commitment to African-American entrepreneurship. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Consortium awarded 58 percent of its new loans in 2005 to African American-owned businesses. The Consortium also created new loans for black muslim entrepreneurs whose beliefs had prohibited them from borrowing money with “interest” attached to it!
As for social brand, the fusion of Somali and other African immigrants with the African-American base has created a powerful 21st century social brand in those cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis). In the political arena, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak scored points for his three-time election on a populist platform. We’ll see what happens as Rybak runs for governor this year.
The unemployment rate for black men and women in the Twin Cities was disturbingly high at 14.1%, according to City-data.com, but not as high as many other cities in this list that have seen African-Americans struggle amidst recession.
Overall Score: 3.0