Showing posts from 2019

Trailer | Mixed-ish + Photos

Our last post and videodiscussed this project. The episode that was made as a backdoor pilot was approved by ABC and picked up as a series!! 
Here is the trailer!
In “mixed-ish,” Rainbow Johnson recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s and the constant dilemmas they had to face over whether to assimilate or stay true to themselves. Bow’s parents Paul and Alicia decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they’re perceived as neither black nor white. This family’s experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.

I love Tika Sumpter and am excited to see her in this 1980s set series. I look forward to falling in love with the little actors in Mixed-ish. They have already done a wonderful job of carrying the roles that w…

Black-ish Prequel Episode 5.22 | Becoming Bow | Press Release & First Look Photos

Erica of Blacks in Period Films discusses the first look images of the upcoming Black-ish prequel episode titled, Becoming Bow.

Press Release: “BLACK-ISH - "Becoming Bow" - After Dre and the kids question Bow's unusual upbringing, we flashback to a young, 12-year old Rainbow living in a commune with her family. When the commune is unexpectedly raided, they are upended and must move to the suburbs. The mixed-race family has difficulty acclimating to this new, mainstream life and the kids struggle with their biracial identity as they try to fit in at their new school. This special, all-new episode of "black-ish," is airing on TUESDAY, MAY 7 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.”

Casting| Jamie Foxx And Wanda Sykes As George And Louise Jefferson In ABC Live Event

The Jeffersons was an American cultural classic that ran on television from 1975 to 1985. The spinoff of "All in the Family" chronicled the upward mobility of George and Louise Jefferson and cemented itself a place in television history. 

The series going to be honored in front of a live studio audience. The project is called Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons and is being created by ABC and Jimmy Kimmel with Norman Lear as producer. The event will be a live 90-minute recreation of original episodes from All in the Family and The Jeffersons and will take place on May 22 at 8 p.m. ET. Will and Grace director James Burrows will direct the event. 

The cast is an amazing one. Leading The Jeffersons will be Jamie Foxx as George Jefferson (originally played by Sherman Hemsley) and Wanda Sykes as George's wife, Louise Jefferson (originally played by Isabel Sanford). Other cast members include Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunke…

Casting | Three Main Cast Members Casted for Barry Jenkins’ ‘Underground Railroad’ Series at Amazon

Variety has reported the casting for the upcoming Barry Jenkins’ Amazon series. The series will be lead by South African actress Thuso Mbedu as Cora, Caesar is to be played by Brit Aaron Pierre, and little Homer will be played by Chase W. Dillon.

The series is based on the Colson Whitehead book “The Underground Railroad”. The novel is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, in addition to being a #1 New York Times bestseller.

The Underground Railroad Summary: Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.


Historical Reenactment | The Story of Dido Belle by English Heritage

English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites all while running an amazingly entertaining and educational Youtube channel. The channel has a series titled, 'What Was Life Like?'. Previous episodes have discussed people that lived during Medieval and Tudor historical eras. Episode 9 of the series focuses on Dido Elizabeth Belle.

Thanks to the incredible 2013 film Belle, most period film fans have a general idea of what life was like for Dido Elizabeth Belle. This entertaining short video shows a historical reenactor portraying Dido Elizabeth Belle's typical day at Kenwood.

According to Kenwood
It was not unheard of for a powerful aristocrat to be the legal guardian to such a relation. But it was extremely unusual at this time for a mixed-race woman – who had perhaps been born to an enslaved mother – to be raised as part of an aristocratic British family. Dido’s exact position within Lord Mansfield’s household is unclear, but the evidence suggests…

Television| Kerri McLean to Appear as Catherine Despard in Poldark Season 5

In the last season of hit television series Poldark, we will meet the first black character Catherine Despard. After some research I found that Catherine/Catharine Despard is in fact a historical figure. Could the lovely Kerri McLean be playing this oft forgotten historical figure?

Who Is Catherine Despard? Historians do not know Catherine’s exact background. Many accounts have her listed as the daughter of a Jamaican preacher, while others say her father was an educated Spanish creole. If her last name Despard sounds familiar that’s because you most likely have heard of her infamous husband, Colonel Edward Marcus Despard. He is best known for his involvement in the failed Despard Plot of 1802. He had a promising career and was made Superintendent of the Bay of Honduras (nka: Belize). In 1790 he had married a young black woman. Catharine. After marrying her, he vowed to give the same rights to freed slaves as to white settlers. This of course did not end well for him.

Fast forward 12 …

Review | In His Father's Shoes (TV Movie 1997)

Director: Vic Sarin | Writer: Gary Gelt

Stars: Robert Ri'chard, Louis Gossett Jr., Barbara Eve Harris, Rachael Crawford, Djanet Sears, Shadia Simmons

Genre: Drama | Rated: PG for language and some thematic elements| Release Date: June 1, 1997

Runtime: 105 min

Summary: When his father (Louis Gossett Jr.) suddenly dies, Clay Crosby (Robert Ri'chard) is devastated. It seems he'll never be able to get over the loss. But everything changes when the boy puts on a pair of his father's wingtip shoes, which magically bring him back in time to experience his father's early life.

I have seen this film come up on my Amazon prime account more than once. I always thought that the entire film was in a historical setting. However, this film does not become a period film until 21 minutes into the film when the main character Clay is transported back in time to 1962.  

Clay  is transported back in time as his father Frank. This means that everyone that sees Clay, sees his father Frank…

Teaser Trailer | Godfather of Harlem

Here is the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Epix series, Godfather of Harlem.  Set in the early 1960s, we follow crime boss Bumpy Johnson as he takes Harlem back from the Italian mob. 

I know Forest Whitaker will do an amazing bringing Bumpy Johnson's story to life.  The Real Bumpy Johnson:

"Bolden" - A 10+ Year Long Creative Journey

If you’re a period film fan I like am, then you are one of the many people who have been patiently awaiting the film BOLDEN! This film based on the life of jazz legend Buddy Bolden has been years in the making. 

I remember constantly checking the IMDB page hoping for an update. The film gained and lost cast members, but through it all Daniel Pritzker refused to give up on his passion project. He had the money to make the project of his dreams and he would not stop until he did. If the May 3, 2019 release date is any indication, Daniel Pritzker has finally created the film he set out to in 2007.
Because of the near permanency of the Internet, I was able to use articles to chart the 12 year journey that this amazing film went on. 2007
March 2007 - Production begins.  The creative team is working on two films.  "Bolden" a musical biography with Anthony Mackie (“We Are Marshall”) in the lead role and “The Great Observer (eventually the short film was named “Louis”),” an hourlo…

Tyrese Gibson To Star As Teddy Pendergrass In Lee Daniels Produced Biopic At Warner Bros

There's a Teddy Pendergrass biopic in the works!! Warner Bros. has acquired the singer’s life rights. After actively campaigning to play the singer for a while now, Tyrese Gibson has been cast as singer Teddy Pendergrass.

On playing his dream role Tyrese said: “I am honored to take this journey… this is the role that I feel I was born to play,“ Gibson said. "Teddy Pendergrass embraced me and before he passed put the responsibility on my shoulders to tell his story. Being here in this time and in this space and moment with Lee Daniels, Donald De Line, Little Marvin and Warner Bros is an answered prayer. Teddy, I just hope we make you, your wife and family proud… Here we go!!”
Donald De Line, Lee Daniels and Gibson are producing the film. Little Marvin is the scriptwriter, and  Pendergrass' widow, Joan Pendergrass, will be an executive producer.

Casting | 1980s-set Black-ish Rainbow Prequel Spinoff Episode

The hit series Black-ish may be getting another spinoff! This time we will be taken back in time. Set in the 1980’s the prequel spinoff will follow a pre-teen version of Tracee Ellis Ross’ Rainbow Johnson.

Young Rainbow will be played by newcomer Arica Himmel. Tika Sumpter (Southside with You, Bessie, Sparkle) will play Rainbow’s mother Alicia, alongside Anders Holm as Rainbow’s father Paul. Rainbow’s parents have previously appeared on Black-ish and were portrayed by Anna Deveare Smith and Beau Bridges.

The prospective, series (which does not yet have a name) could be the second spinoff of the black-ish franchise; Freeform’s Grown-ish being the first. The potential series will follow a 12-year-old Bow, who is described as emotionally and intellectually brilliant yet clueless, confused and awkward. 
Little actor and actress Ethan William Childress and Mykal-Michelle Harris will play Bow’s siblings Johan and Santamonica. The adult versions of Johan and Santamonica were previously playe…

First Images of Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman

People was given an exclusive first look at Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman, in the upcoming biopic Harriet. This biopic will is based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.

Cynthia Erivo is set to play the legendary woman. Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou) is the biopics director. There has been some controversy surrounding the fact that such an amazing African American woman would not be played by an African American woman. In an interview with Janell Hobson of Ms. Magazine Lemmons had this to say:

I understand and respect the conversation. It just doesn’t have anything to do with my experience, you know what I mean? [Cynthia Erivo] was attached for years before I came onto the project. But I met her, and I said, “This woman is absolutely right for the part.” I thought, she’s West African, good. So is Harriet Tubman. Sh…

Release Date Set for Aretha Franklin Biopic Starring Jennifer Hudson

According to Variety, the Aretha Franklin biopic titled Respect is set for an August 14, 2020 theatrical release. 

The biopic will be directed by Liesl Tommy and the script will be written by Callie Khouri. The film is being produced by Straight Outta Compton producer Scott Bernstein and songwriter and producer Harvey Mason Jr.. Mason has written and produced for both Franklin and Hudson.
As previously discussed,  Jennifer Hudson was  handpicked for the role, by the Queen of Soul herself. Respect will follow Franklin's rise to fame from her childhood in the church to her life as a soul/R&B star. 
I look forward to this biopic!!

Short Film | Mr. Malcolm’s List Directed by Emma Holly Jones

Watch this awesome short film Mr. Malcolm's List. Written by Suzanne Allain and based on her script and novel of the same name, the short film is set in early 1800's England. 
SUMMARY: The Honorable Mr. Malcolm (played by Sope Dirisu) has a secret. This elusive matrimonial prize, long the target of desperate debutantes and their matchmaking mothers, is well known for his fastidiousness. What is not well known is that he has a list of qualifications for his future bride. Can any woman hope to win the heart of such a hardened critic? Selina Dalton can only try her best. And when she begins to succeed, Jeremy Malcolm is not sure whether he has discovered the perfect woman... Or the perfect hoax.

Of course, many people are super excited at a chance to see a Jane Austen-esque type film set in regency England with Black and Asian main characters. I am of course one of those people. Sope Dirisu has been in tons of period series/films/plays, so this isn't out of the ordinary for …

Black History Month | Write It Day 28 | His Dark Lady by Victoria Lamb

Victoria Lamb's His Dark Lady follows Lucy Morgan an African singer and lady-in-waiting for Elizabeth 1 as she handles political upheaval and love. Based on William Shakespeare's dark lady sonnets, the Lucy Morgan series is an amazing Elizabethan era historical fiction series.

Get your own copy of the entire Lucy Morgan series!
The Queen's Secret (Lucy Morgan Book 1)
His Dark Lady (Lucy Morgan Book 2)
Her Last Assassin (Lucy Morgan Book 3)
Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It Day 27 | Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons

Ellen's Broom takes the historically accurate and culturally relevant practice of jumping the broom and turns it into a heartwarming story about family pride and love.

  You can get your own copy of Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons.

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It Day 26 | The Lawyer’s Luck by Piper Huguley

Piper Huguley's The Lawyer's Luck is a lovely historical romance that gives us the unique story of a free lawyer of color and a fugitive slave woman falling in love. This prequel and the entire Home to Milford College book series, would make for an entertaining mini television series.

You can get your own copy of The Lawyer's Luck here.

You can get your own copy of The Preacher's Promise here.

 You can get your own copy of The Mayor's Mission here.

You can get your own copy of The Representative's Revolt here.

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

The Loyal League Book Series on Sale!!

Alyssa Cole’s AN UNCONDITIONAL FREEDOM will be out tonight at midnight, and if you want to catch up, books 1 and 2 of the Loyal League series are on sale for $2.99! 

Amazon: (Here) or use the affliiate link (here) to help the blog out!! 
Apple: (Here)
B&N: (Here)
Kobo: (Here)

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month| Write It Day 25| Steady Going Up by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's short 'Steady Going Up' follows a man on the way to Cincinnati to pick up his ill younger sister, but leaves us with many unanswered question. A film that expanded on this short story and answered these questions could be very entertaining.

What is your favorite work by Maya Angelou?

Oscars 2019 | And the Winners Are ....

Tonight was a big night for black actors and creatives in period films! Below are a list of all of the nominations and winners that apply to the Blacks in Period Films designation!

Best Picture Black Panther BlacKkKlansman Bohemian Rhapsody The Favourite Roma A Star is Born Vice Winner: Green Book

Best Director Winner: Roma - Alfonso Cuarón BlacKkKlansman - Spike Lee  Cold War - Paweł Pawlikowski The Favourite - Yorgos Lanthimos Vice - Adam McKay

Best Supporting Actress Amy Adams - Vice Marina de Tavira - Roma Emma Stone - The Favourite Rachel Weisz - The Favourite Winner: Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actor Adam Driver - BlacKkKlansman Sam Elliot - A Star is Born Richard E. Grant - Can You Ever Forgive Me? Sam Rockwell - Vice Winner: Mahershala Ali - Green Book

Best Original Score Winner: Black Panther - Ludwig Goransson BlacKkKlansmen - Terence Blanchard If Beale Street Could Talk - Nicholas Britell Isle of Dogs - Alexandre Desplat Mary Poppins Returns - Marc Shaima…

Black History Month| Writ It Day 24 | The Bondwoman's Narrative by Hannah Crafts

Hannah Crafts' The Bondwoman's Narrative is the oldest known novel by an African American woman. Her story is one with many ups and downs that ultimately lead to triumph. This autobiographical novel would make for the perfect period drama.

You can get your own copy of the first novel by an African American woman here. 

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month | Write It Day 23| Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones wrote two collections of two short stories taken place in 1950s/1960s Washington and show their life experiences in a natural way. Both Lost in the City and All Aunt Hagar's Children combined would make for an incredible series.

You can purchase both of Edward P. Jones' amazing short story collections here!

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.

Black History Month| Write It Day 22| Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks

In Maud Martha by Gwendolyn Brooks, we get the very specific experience of one black girl and in 1930 and 1940s South Side Chicago. Very often when a black girl's life is shown on screen she is suffering. Most often these stories end with no resolution to her pain in sight. However, Maud's as a slice of life film would be refreshing. Maud grows maturing into a wise wife and mother.

You can purchase a copy of your own here!

Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase from the links Blacks in Period Films get a commission that will help keep the blog running.