Friday, November 11, 2016

Black (Male) Power on the Big Screen

In a week that turned (the pragmatic segment of) America on its head with the election of a new Commander-in-Chief, whose ideologies and words throughout his campaign have been less than welcoming to America's often forgotten and "huddled masses," now more than ever are we in great mourning as we sit in the dawn of the departure of America's 44th and first African-American president; a pioneer whose every movement outside, on his way to, and ultimately in the White House has been fueled by the dream of inclusion. As the Free World's current leader begins to transition power to the elected, more than losing an ally, a peacemaker, and a voice for the people, in President Obama, we will also mourn the loss of a daily representation of greatness, power, and tenacity--sitting on the highest pinnacle of our nation's platform--beautifully embodied by a Black Man.

Just as life often imitates art, now, more than ever, am I excited to see that in the coming months, art will continue to imitate life in its placing of black men in positions of power, front and center, on the big screen. As we await a new dawning, let's continue to find comfort in the ways in which we are continuing to make strides in spite of our changing climate by recognizing six upcoming films with black male actors in leading roles, bringing us award-worthy performances as victors and not (stereotypical) victims, through laughter, action, triumph, and even gritty reality. See you at the theater!

November 18th - The Take (formerly titled Bastille Day) starring Idris Elba (Action) - Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy.

December 16th - Collateral Beauty starring Will Smith (Drama) - When a successful New York advertising executive suffers a great tragedy he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.

December 23rd Fences starring Denzel Washington (Drama) - From award-winning playwright August Wilson, Fences tells the story of an African-American father and one-time promising baseball player, now working as a Pittsburgh garbage collector, who struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and come to terms with the events of his life.

February 17th - Fist Fight starring Ice Cube (Comedy) - When one school teacher gets the other (Cube) fired, he is challenged to an after-school fight.

February 24th - Sleepless starring Jamie Foxx (Action) - An undercover Las Vegas police officer (Foxx) must race against time to save his kidnapped son from a crew of murderous gangsters.

2017 - All Eyez on Me starring Demetrius Shipp Jr. (Bio-Drama) - A biopic following rapper Tupac Shakur's career, including his time at Death Row Records and his involvement in the rivalry between East coast and West coast rappers, culminating in his murder in 1996.

Videos courtesy of YouTube
Photo credits: N/A