If you have a chance watch this documentary on HBO Mon 8/25 09:00 PM.
Part of a multimedia initiative, The Black List: Volume One is the brainchild of renowned portrait photographer/filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (PBS’ Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart, HBO’s Thinking XXX and acclaimed NPR radio host, journalist and former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, with Greenfield-Sanders directing and Mitchell conducting the interviews. Mitchell, by design, is never seen on camera or heard, a strategy that allows the subjects’ own voices to remain the focus. The actual title of the film itself, The Black List, was first conceived by Mitchell as an answer to the persistent taint that western culture has applied to the word “black.”
The Black List’s interviewees come from a diverse collection of disciplines from the worlds of the arts, sports, politics, business and government, and include, in order of appearance: Slash, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist; Toni Morrison, author and Nobel laureate; Keenen Ivory Wayans, film writer/director, creator of TV’s In Living Color; Vernon Jordan, lawyer and former president of the National Urban League; Faye Wattleton, current President of the Center for the Advancement of Women and former President of Planned Parenthood; Marc Morial, former Mayor of New Orleans and current National Urban League president; Serena Williams, eight-time Grand Slam tennis champion; Lou Gossett Jr., Oscar®-winning actor; Lorna Simpson, artist and photographer; Mahlon Duckett, former Negro League Baseball star; Zane, best-selling erotic author and publisher; Al Sharpton, pastor, activist and 2004 Presidential candidate; Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, Hall of Fame basketball great; Thelma Golden, art curator at the Whitney Museum and now the Studio Museum in Harlem; Sean Combs, mogul, actor and music producer; Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State and Barack Obama’s senior campaign advisor; Chris Rock, comedian, producer and director; Suzan-Lori Parks, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright; Richard Parsons, former Time Warner CEO; Dawn Staley, 3- time Olympic gold medalist, WNBA All-Star and current Temple University women’s basketball head coach; and Bill T. Jones, Tony Award-winning dancer and director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.
The Black List: Volume One made its world premiere at 2008’s Sundance Film Festival; Variety called it “an impeccably mounted survey of voices from across the spectrum of African-American accomplishment…a rich and revealing work of portraiture.”
This film is part of a multimedia initiative titled “The Black List Project,” conceived by Greenfield-Sanders and Mitchell and comprised of the HBO documentary, a museum exhibition of photographic portraits, a book of those photographs, and an interactive educational program.
CREDITS: Interviews by Elvis Mitchell; Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders; Producers: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Elvis Mitchell, Michael Slap Sloane; Executive Producers: Christopher McKee, Scott Richman, Tommy Walker and Payne Brown.