All Articles Tagged "lorraine hansberry"
Are you looking for the silverscreen to give you more heroes/heroines of color? More stories about the black experience in America and not a whitewashed version of how we think and act? I know I am.
Black America has been conditioned to take what few images we can get of ourselves when it comes to entertainment. While we’ve had our onscreen triumphs outside of being portrayed as maids, thugs and wh*res – there is still an empty, canyon-like space where the broader range of our stories could and should be told. Well, black independent filmmakers are slowly but surely filling that space through Kickstarter campaigns and grassroots fundraising for the projects Hollywood repeatedly dismisses as irrelevant and unimportant.
The great news is that we don’t have to sit and wait for “somebody” to do “something.” These filmmakers are putting in the work and turning out stellar projects for our viewing pleasure, discussion and social action. And one of the greatest things about this indie movement is that many of these artists are accomplished black women.
With growing YouTube channels, film festival award-winning projects, Oscar-nominated films – there are a host of black women filmmakers who are working their gifts and talents to ensure that the span of black experiences are brought to screen in truth.
Here are six indie filmmakers/producers that you should keep your eyes open for.
Film Based On Life Of “A Raisin in the Sun” Playwright Lorraine Hansberry Happening; Issa Rae And Jaleel White Cast So Far
According to Shadow and Act, the grand niece of famous playwright Lorraine Hansberry, Taye Hansberry, is working on a script for a film based on her great-aunt’s remarkable life. Taye will work with actress and writer Numa Perrier on the film, and Taye will play the lead role.
Casting is being done by Will Stewart, the man behind the cast of Scandal, and so far, Awkward Black Girl creator Issa Rae has been cast to play Nina Simone (move over Zoe!), who was a very close friend of Hansberry’s.
Even Jaleel White (yes, Steve Urkel), has been cast to play to play writer James Baldwin, another good friend of Hansberry’s. Production will begin in the fall to tell the story of Lorraine Hansberry’s short but accomplished life. A little background for you: Hansberry was the first African-American to have their written work produced into a Broadway play, and A Raisin in the Sun was based on her childhood, as her family tried to move in an all white neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago and had to deal with the many neighbors who didn’t want them there. After moving to New York, she worked with the likes of Paul Robeson and even W.E.B. DuBois. She died at the age of 34 of pancreatic cancer.
I’m excited about most biopics these days, especially ones based around black folks. But I’m not going to lie, I’m kind of side-eyeing the casting of Jaleel White as one of my favorite authors. But hey, I’m willing to wait and see the finished product before I pass real judgment. And who doesn’t love Issa Rae?
What do you think of Hansberry’s great-niece bringing her life to the big (or small) screen?
For years, there has been media speculation concerning the sexuality of celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah, Eddie Murphy, Johnny Gill, and more recently, Raven Symone. The trip out of the closet has been a long one for African American celebrities, evident by the fact there aren’t nearly as many out and open black celebrities as there are white. We don’t often see black celebrities walking around, publicly showcasing their love like Sex and the City’s Cythia Nixon and her girlfriend; Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi; or Elton John and David Furnish. That isn’t to say that there aren’t any out African American celebrities though. In fact, we’ve got an entire list of proud gay celebrities.
This comedian has been making people laugh since she began her stand-up career in 1987 at a Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in Washington DC. She got her first big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline’s Comedy Club, and since then she’s made a career of being an award-winning television and movie actress, stand-up comedian, and writer. Sykes publicly came out on as a lesbian in November 2008 after the passing of Proposition 8 in California.