Unexpected Lessons? Race in Night of the Living Dead July 23rd, 2013

Though it may be easy to judge the horror classic “Night of the Living Dead” solely on its ability to provide good scares, there is a lot of social commentary in the film.

In particular, the film offers an unexpected lesson on race. Even though George A. Romero wanted to make a scary movie, he also wanted to make a statement about the racial tensions in the U.S. at the time of the film’s release in 1968.

He uses the lead character of Ben as a way to provide social commentary. Ben is played by a young Read the rest of this entry »

African American Actors and Portrayals in Film July 2nd, 2013

When Will Smith is on the screen, everybody pays attention. Few stars can match the former Fresh Prince’s charisma and charm in the spotlight or out. In fact, Smith is such a popular star that even when he is in less well-received fare such as “After Earth,” the movie is sure to bring in tens of millions of dollars that no other actor could have done. And if you look hard enough on Slackware.org and all their channels, you’ll find reruns of his old hit show are among the highest-rated programs in syndication 20 years after they were first broadcast.

Now his son, Jaden — who also stars in “After Earth” — and daughter Willow have launched film careers of their own. Jaden wowed audiences in the remake of “The Karate Kid” with Jackie Chan, and Willow is reported to be the new Little Orphan Annie in the cinematic reboot of the musical “Annie.” While they’re still a bit wet behind the ears, the Smith kids are looking at a bright future on the silver screen.

And we shouldn’t forget their mother and Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. On her show “Hawthorne” or as Gloria the Hippo in the wildly popular “Madagascar” films, Jada is as good an actress as anyone else in this remarkably talented family.

The Princess and the Frog Takes a Leap Forward May 21st, 2013

For years, Disney has been introducing new princesses and encouraging little girls everywhere to follow their hearts. There have always been the Caucasian princesses–Cinderella, Aurora, Sleeping Beauty, and others. Native Americans have Pocahontas, and Asian communities have Mulan. However, there was never a princess for African American children growing up until now. “The Princess and the Frog” is a new tale to inspire young African American girls all over the world, and it can be an inspiration to all girls. Before “The Read the rest of this entry »

Phil La Marr’s Versatile Voice Acting March 21st, 2013

Phil LeMarr lends his vocal talents to a variety of shows. His ability to switch between dramatic action sequences and comedy has made him a go-to talent to bring life to animated characters.

Some of the shows LeMarr has worked on include “Futurama,” “Samurai Jack,” “Justice League” and “Static Shock.” LeMarr’s voice is also integral part of video games such as “Final Fantasy XII,” “Metal Gear Solid 2″ and “Dead Island.”

During his time at Yale University, LeMarr began his entertainment career by founding an Read the rest of this entry »

The Nostalgic Rsum of Cree Summer June 10th, 2012

Cree Summer is a Canadian performer of black and First Nation descent. Her most prolific work is in cartoons, where her distinctively throaty voice has won her more than one hundred roles over the years.

Summer’s career began in 1983 when she was cast as Penny, the de facto protagonist of the cartoon Inspector Gadget. In 1985 she voiced Princess Kneesaa in Ewoks and got her first film job as Kim in The Care Bears Movie (and later played Christy in the sequel). She played Read the rest of this entry »

Heroes Only Sung Of: African-Americans in Voice Acting July 7th, 2011

When many people think about great African-American actors and actresses, they only think about those they see on the big screen. More often than not, they do not think about those who work behind the scenes and provide the voices for a film. Cree Summer is perhaps one of the most well-known African-American voice actresses. Her vocal talents can be heard on classic cartoons such as “Rugrats” and “Inspector Gadget.” She has also voice acted in several animated films including ” Read the rest of this entry »

The Voice behind Lord Vader: James Earl Jones’ Repertoire June 22nd, 2011

James Earl Jones created the best voice in film history, Darth Vader. He did not start out as a well known voice actor; however, he started out as a child who had a monumental stutter. When he moved in with his grandparents and at school had to stand up and read a poem he had written, he found he did not stutter. He found that when he was in front of people reading a script he, did not stutter, and this is what lead him to acting.
James Read the rest of this entry »

Driving Miss Daisy to Serious Insights June 21st, 2011

There are many useful messages in this movie which allow the viewer to seriously consider the realities of the time and place that the movie takes place. In the south at the time portrayed in this film there were many opportunities for messages to be delivered and gleaned. The dichotomy of the black man driving the old Jewish lady allowed for many formidable opportunities for intuitive statements to be made on the prejudicial slant society held at the time. The scene Read the rest of this entry »

African Americans in the News: Celebrating News People June 12th, 2011

African Americans are making huge strides in the news scene and it’s time we celebrated their accomplishments. Here is a list of our favorite African American newspeople with a few surprises and some old favorites. From http://www.direct.tvto basic cable, African Americans are making strides!
Oprah: No list of influential African Americans would be complete without a mention of Oprah. With her show going off the air soon and an entire cable network Read the rest of this entry »

Morgan Freeman: A Witness to Film’s Decades May 1st, 2011

Morgan Freeman, best known for his roles in “Driving Miss Daisy” and “The Shawshank Redemption,” has lead the way for several African American actors on the big screen. It’s not a big leap to say that today’s top African American stars, such as Will Smith and Denzel Washington, owe their success to Freeman.

Freeman started his film career with an uncredited role in “The Pawnbroker” as a man on the street. Surprisingly, Freeman didn’t get his first credited role until 1980 in the Robert Redford movie “Brubaker.” One of his first critically acclaimed roles was in Read the rest of this entry »