African American Images for Inspiration and Motivation
Are you ever looking for sources of inspiration to keep going as a writer, filmmaker, or simply African American grinding? Well, Black TV Film Crew began curating inspiring and motivating images on Pinterest a couple of months ago. The goal of our Pinterest page is to remind people of color that we’ve come so far. And, we still have so much important work to do.
Our images are viewed by 6k people monthly. They show people such as Phylicia Rashad, Flo Jo, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Oprah Winfrey, and LeBron James. We have an assortment of Black Comedians, Black Actresses, Black Actors, Black Directors, and Black Writers. And for all you people who want to go back to Wakanda, we have a curation of images from the Black Panther Movie. Yep, that means Michael B. Jordan, Ryan Coogler, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright and the rest of the warriors.
When I need to be reminded of how far black people have come in America, I look at images of people like Lena Horne, Ruby Dee, Spike Lee, Denzel Washington, Oprah Winfrey. They climbed mountains people didn’t even think they could see.
Writer / Director / Producer,Still Eye Rise Media
The link to this profile of Matthew A. Cherry appears in our Black Directors page on Pinterest.
To further promote our members we have curated images of our crew members as well. So, you’ll see our fabulousness right next to the well-known celebrities. And, if you’re looking for Black Photographers, Black Vloggers, Black Illustrators and other people who are doing creative things while Black, the Black TV Film Crew Pinterest page has you covered.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll also appreciate our images that contain Gifts for Black Writers, Quotes from African Americans, Pro Black Tee Shirts, and Black Animated Short Films. We’re constantly adding more images to keep the motivation and inspiration alive for black folks creating art and who are in the entertainment business.
We’re not sure if our members are on Pinterest, but if you are, please hop over to the Black TV Film Crew page and follow us. I’m sure some of our 33 boards are guaranteed to inspire you and remind you as to why you became a black creative in the first place.
Black Artists Create A World Where Your Voice Is Heard
Cinematographer and Photographer, Joseph Tova
Black artists want to grow and get paid but do we have the support of our community? Today I received a message from crew member photographer and cinematographer, Joseph Tova, who raised an important issue about African Americans supporting each other.
The question: Who supports new black artists or creatives who desire to break into the industry? Do white filmmakers or other races support their creatives differently?
Tova believes that people outside of the black community are more supportive to their artists and I’m inclined to agree. But supporting each other is not simply something you do when it’s convenient. Supporting people must be part of your ethos or you won’t commit to it. I know we need to support each other and so I’m going to drop 7 ways to show we really believe in black artists.
Give an internship opportunity to a black student who is eager and ready to work.
Become a patron of black companies who are educating and promoting the work of people of color. (We have a Patreon page to produce videos and podcasts for our community.)
Hire black people to work on your crew.
Read books written by black writers.
I realize this world is full of people from all backgrounds and races. But, I also realize that blacks, African Americans, people of African descent are often the last to get hired and the first to get fired. We’re often not invited into the private parties or the networking events that allow us privileged access to excel in our careers. However, 2018 brings great opportunity for black artists, creatives, and crew members. Creatives like Ava Duvernay, Issa Rae and so many others are creating opportunities for black voices to be heard. Take advantage of these opportunities so that our voices will echo from the rafters.
(All photos are of real Black TV Film Crew members. Courtesy of their dope Instagrams!)
Black dramatic movies aren’t overflowing on Hulu right now but we wanted to compile a list of some cool dramas to watch if you want to Hulu and chill. We’re including movies on Hulu which have black leads but aren’t necessarily an all black cast. We decided to call them black movies because we want to believe. But the reality is, there are probably fewer than 9 black dramatic movies which feature a majority black cast on Hulu right now.
More Black Dramatic Movies Are Needed
We scrolled through the movie poster images and typed in what is currently available on Hulu. Here’s the list…
Fences featuring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Creed featuring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone
Our Kind of Traitor featuring Naomi Harris
Traitor featuring Don Cheadle
Hoodlum featuring Lawrence Fishburne
American Gangster featuring Denzel Washington
Live Cargo featuring LaKeith Stanfield
96 Souls featuring Toyin Moses
Perfect Stranger featuring Halle Berry
The Glass Shield featuring Ice Cube
I Can Do Bad All By Myself featuring Taraji P. Henson
So B. It featuring Alfre Woodard
Going To America featuring Eddie Griffin
John Q. Featuring Denzel Washington
Panic featuring David Gyasi
No Way To Live featuring Tom Williamson
Day In New York featuring Chris Rock
The movies below have diverse ensemble casts so we’ve included them on the list. It’s funny because we bet Honey and Honey 2 were heavily inspired by the newest Fame movie. And of course, this Fame movie was a remake of the original Fame movie. Nothing is new in this business. Here are the three honorable mentions:
Honey 2 featuring Kat Graham
Honey featuring Mekhi Phifer
Fame featuring Naturi Naughton, Debbie Allen
We hope in the near future Hulu will increase its black dramatic feature film catalog. There have to be African Americans wanting some drama who watch Hulu. I know we are over at Black TV Film crew. If you’re using Hulu and would like an increase in their black dramatic movies, leave a comment below. There will be no change if they don’t know we’re interested. If you wanna know the Black Comedies we’ve seen on Netflix, we got you.
African American actors are needed. And, we are pleased to announce that one of our crew members is currently casting for a indie short film project in Los Angeles that will be shooting in May. This is a paid opportunity and will shoot 1 – 2 days.
This casting call is looking for two youthful looking African American females in the 18 – 30 year old range and one youthful looking African American male in the 18-30 year old range.
Send a two minute monologue to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 7th, 2018.
Actress Vernika Eshay Rowe. This photo is courtesy @Venika_Eshay_Rowe Instagram
For African American Actors – A Few Words of Advice
I watched Kerry Washington on television the other night. She told Jimmy Kimmel about auditioning for her role on Scandal. She stated that many of her friends thought the role was for them and that she didn’t believe her audition went well. But, she went anyway. It was probably discouraging to hear friends say, “The role was written just for me,” and think to yourself, “Well that means the role isn’t mine.” No one knows who is going to get the role, but the person who doesn’t show up, will never get the role.
It was strange to her Kerry talk about being somewhat insecure about the role when she clearly became Olivia Pope in every sense of the word. All of us deal with doubts and fears from time to time, keep going anyway. Every one questions themselves, but every with a little doubt in your head, claim a victory. Talk positively to yourself and watch your life change.
At Black TV Film Crew, we know a lot of actors are out there looking for a break. This may be yours.
Don’t give up and just keep going.
Final note for those needing motivation:
We recently started a Pinterest page to help keep us motivated and remind us of all the talented black folks all over the world. If you’re on Pinterest, let’s connect.
(Feature photo published courtesy of @Lesliedapwatda’s instagram)
As Black Panther secures its place in history as the 10th highest grossing film of all time, I wanted to share the impact that the film has had on black, bald women.
Not everyone chooses their baldness. Not everyone looks into the mirror and says, “I’m going for the big chop.” For some 6.8 million Americans, the decision is made for them as a result of Alopecia. Alopecia, the hair loss condition, wreaks havoc on a woman’s self esteem. Alopecia tells women they’re abnormal, they’re unattractive, they’re undateable—they’re worthless. But Black Panther and the warriors of Wakanda did something for bald, black women that had NEVER been done before. They recognized them as strong, beautiful, valuable, and regal.
“There are so many women of color who are hiding behind their wigs and their weaves.” —Jurline Redeaux
I would have missed this point entirely had I not connected with Jurline Redeaux, a member of Black TV Film Crew and a black woman who has suffered from Alopecia for more than 30 years. In an initiative to connect with our members, we reposted member photos late last week when we came across Jurline. She posted a photo of herself in a chair, her head shiny and bald, with the caption, “Black Panther screening in Long Beach. #warriorgoddess.” I guess it was the hashtag that got me, but it was also the glow in her face, the smile, and her eyes. She seemed proud. Her photo oozed, “I am a warrior goddess.” And so we reposted it. And what happened after is what inspired this article.
“The Black Panther movie empowered me. After I saw the preview with the women who were bald, I was empowered to go to the opening bald.” —Jurline Redeaux
When Jurline saw that we had selected her photo on Black TV Film Crew’s Instagram page. She left this comment, “You got me crying this morning. I used to be so ashamed of my baldness that I used to sleep in my wig.”
Courtesy Jurline Redeaux instagram
Sleep in your wig? An awakening began. I perused Jurline’s Instagram and I saw a photo of the warriors of Wakanda united with a photo of black women all rocking close cropped, bald heads. I wanted to know why Jurline was ashamed. And I wanted her to know how regal she appeared in her photo. And so I responded, “You are beautiful. Your image will inspire others who struggle with baldness.”
But that was just the beginning. The day I met Jurline via Instagram, I was a guest on Karima’s Show & Tell radio show. The question was raised, “What do you think is the cultural impact of Black Panther?” Me and three other guests gave varied answers but the most riveting answer was given by Danny Asshole (that’s what he calls himself.) I’m paraphrasing but the essence of his statement was, “Those beautiful black women with them bald heads… Before Black Panther, I would have never considered dating a woman with a bald head. But now… Those women were sexy. Ummph. They did something to me.”
I left the studio realizing Danny’s comments and Jurline’s photos and comments were related. Black Panther had impacted people in a way I hadn’t realized. Black Panther impacted the way people saw black women with bald heads. And, Black women with bald heads no longer had to feel ashamed of their baldness because the #1 movie in the world said, “You are beautiful, strong, regal and valuable.”
I interviewed Jurline shortly after my mind began to connect the dots. This is my summary of what the Black Panther movie did for bald, black women with help from Jurline.
1. It made them beautiful to others who did not see them that way.
“There are men who will straight up say, ‘I don’t want to date a woman with no hair.’ There are men who will say to a woman suffering from Alopecia, ‘I don’t want to see you without your hair on.’” —Jurline Redeaux
2. It gave bald women freedom.
“I went to church for the first time bald after I saw Black Panther. And they ushered me to the front. I feel free, I’m no longer ashamed.”
3. It gave women boldness.
“I’ve been other places bald, but now when I go, I’m bold with it, I’m regal.” —Jurline Redeaux
4. It connected people to their ancestors.
“I believe my people suffered from Alopecia before they were brought to America. My grandmother suffered from it. When I saw the women on screen, not only did it empower me, it connected me to my people.” —Jurline Redeaux
5. It gave a sense of pride.
“Black Panther made me proud to be bald. I’m proud.”
Not too long ago, a black teen girl had her wig snatched off at school. The video and article went viral on Facebook. She, too, suffers from alopecia. Imagine how she may feel now knowing that bald is beautiful and bald is being praised. Hopefully, she’s a bit more inspired and empowered. I loved the Black Panther movie even before I realized how it positively impacted black, bald women. But learning of this cultural impact made me appreciate the efforts of the cast and crew even more. To produce a body of work which is so giving to the community is the ultimate act of love.
Has Black Panther inspired you in some way? If so, leave it in the comments.
Everyone loves a good comedy special, the trouble is keeping up with the latest. Have you ever scrolled through the Netflix comedy section, but not find anything relateable or anything laugh out loud funny? We have. So, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 Must See Black Comedy Specials airing on Netflix right now. They’re arranged by order of most recent release date, not how funny they are.
Black Comedy On Netflix?
Marlon Wayans: Woke-ish (2/27/18) – Marlon has definitely been keeping himself busy these days, with a hit TV show, Marlon, comedy tours and now his new Netflix special. While addressing really hot topics in today’s society, he does so his very silly, loud and ignorant way. Classic Marlon. Memorable Wayans.
Trevor Noah: Afraid Of The Dark (2/21/18)– Trevor Noah, known best for his political satire as host of the Daily Show, was truly made for stand up. The South African native, hosts this special in NYC. This show is smart, gut bustlingly funny and will make you start tuning into his prime time show. Afraid of The Dark gives more insight to how Noah thinks and his true self shines through.
Chris Rock: Tamborine (2/14/18) – Chris Rock takes you through his divorce and life after in Tamborine, but in a way much like his Everybody Hates Chris days, leaving you in tears. In Tamborine, Rock admits he knew he made it when he’s in divorce court and realizes that he has to pay all of the lawyers himself. Ca-ching! Chris Rock, at his best, is honest and his brutal honesty is hilarious.
4. Dave Chapelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation (12/31/17)– Chapelle has a two-part comedy special that came out over the second half of last year, and each one will have you literally in tears. In true Dave Chapelle fashion, he tells tales of his life at home, and life on the road. He brings along that hilarious narrative voice from the Chapelle Show. Chapelle sets the tone of the special during his opening when he delivers a punchline so funny that you never see it coming, plus he references Stove Top stuffing.
5. Multiple People: Def Comedy Jam 25 (9/2/17)– The absolutely funniest and most nostalgic special to come to Netflix in the last few months, is Def Comedy Jam. Hosted by Steve Harvey, Cedric the Entertainer, DL Hugely and Dave Chappelle, this special takes you back in time to the 90’s and the original Def Comedy Jam series. Performers from the 90’s returned to the stage and did small sets. As a Martin Lawrence fan, I think my favorite part was when Dave Chappelle acknowledged Marty Mar in the audience and his contribution to comedy. You could just feel the love.
These 5 Must See Black Comedy specials will have you feeling black and proud. Get your snacks together, find a seat on the couch and get your laugh on. These specials will not disappoint.