Over the past few years, we have witnessed visionaries including Jordan Peele, Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler usher in a new perspective across Hollywood’s writing rooms, using their creative powers to take back the narrative of Black America on film and TV.
As our nation becomes more diverse, the demand for authentic content is growing stronger and crossing over to mainstream appeal. Case in point: Disney Pixar’s first feature film with a Black lead and cast, Soul. The film, which depicts Jazz’s cultural convergence within New York City’s rich diversity, received rave reviews and won two Golden Globes.
However, two in three Black Americans still say they don’t see themselves represented in movies, according to a report by the National Research Group; and while TV has been a silver lining, Black representation on TV still lags on cable.
So, to continue to increase the number of Black stories told on Film and TV, we need a three-pronged approach:
1. Increase diversity of thought – Behind the camera, in the writer’s room and corporate meeting rooms.
2. Empower Black voices – Expand our circles to include varied perspectives, bring in more Black creators and push ourselves to take the road less travelled.
3. Elevate Black media – Diversify media strategies to reach Black consumers in contextually relevant places in addition to mass media.