Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Black List

The other day we decided to see Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day and we were lucky enough to gatch a glimpse of the new Hughes Brothers film The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington. I asked myself, what was the last Hughes Bros. movie I remember ? Holy crap! From Hell, 2001. And then I started thinking about the long and varied, but ultimately successful career of Mr. Washington. Wow, three very talented black filmmakers teaming up together for what looks like a pretty bad-ass action flick. This train of thought barreled right past the station platform and into a whirlwind of thought about the current status of Black actors and filmmakers today. With an interracial President in the oval office I think it’s important to look back at how far we – yes, this is a term that is applied to all humanity not just one race, ethnicity, religion – have come as a civilization, nation, world.

Not long ago HBO decided to ask – and seeked to answer - these questions with a documentary vehicle The Black List: Vol. 1 which was an Official Selection 2008 Sundance Film Festival. HBO decided to continue the examination with The Black List: Vol 2 which "profiles some of today's most fascinating African-Americans. From the childhood inspirations that shaped their ambitions, to the evolving American landscape they helped define, to the importance of preserving a unique cultural identity for future generations, these prominent individuals offer a unique look into the zeitgeist of black America, redefining the traditional pejorative notion of a blacklist."

A lot of people like to talk about art imitating life and vice-versa, but either way you look at it I think our celebrities and leaders help to begin to paint the picture of America’s current status in a variety of areas. Unfortunately, the success and acceptance of a lot of celebrities masks the inequities and injustices that many Americans today face due to status: racial, social, economical. The Black List: Vol. 2 helps expose and unmask what is all too often a mystery or surprise to many Americans. And this is done through conversation and reflection. The entertainers and entrepreneurs featured in this volume – Maya Rudolph, Tyler Perry, and my man RZA – talk about those who have inspired them by making countless and overlooked sacrifices that have allowed all of us – regardless of race – to enjoy their talent.

I highly recommend picking up a copy; you can get it for mad cheap at Target and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to UNCF. Pick it up, pop it in, and digest - I’m telling you no matter who you are you will find someone on here to relate to and a story that will touch you. The Black List: Vol. 2 trascends race and becomes something more - an invaluable dialogue in which we should all take part.

You can catch/follow The Black List at any of the below links:
Webpage Twitter Facebook Myspace

And make sure you check out the below exlusive interview with R3's new favorite woman, Maya Rudolph.

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