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February 08, 2010

Tonight's TV highlights: HBO's 'The Black List'

The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles previewed HBO's The Black List Project: Volume Three. Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and critic Elvis Mitchell continue their exploration of what it means to be African-American in today's world with the third volume of their series "The Black List".

This edition features interviews with John Legend, Whoopi Goldberg, Lee Daniels, Debra Lee, and Beverly Johnson. After the screening, which included highlights
of the previous two programs, a panel discussion was held with panelists including Greenfield- Sanders, Mitchell, model Beverly Johnson, actor Lou Gossett JR and TV Producer Suzanne de Passe discussed the project.

At the screening, Gossett mentioned that he feels that The Black List is great to show young people that there is no such thing as impossible.

Beverly Johnson said that it she was honored to be part of the project as it gave her a chance to tell her story in a documentary.

Suzanne dePasse, when asked what she walked away from the project with, she stated that she felt in good company as this gives you an oral history that is so personal and that it picks out the essence of the interview.

dePasse also commented that being Black is like a shadow that always follows you.

Greenfield-Sanders said that the idea behind the documentary is to make five small stories. He also stated that the project has entered a partnership up with The United Negro Fund. This will allow the film to be shown on colleges across campus and will be the complete interviews.

Mitchell noted that the key part to see them is not as victims but as being African American in the 21st century.

The documentary is a great look at what life is like to be an African-African today. All the interviewers are very well done. You get to learn something new about each of the artists. It is more than just an autobiography on each. Music artist John Legend spoke about his upbringing, how he got into music and recording.

The Black List consists of the documentaries for HBO, a book, and a gallery exhibition of photographs, on display in the Paley Center’s gallery. This is the first time any of these photographs have been seen in Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, fourteen portraits are on display, representing
the California-based participants of The Black List: Volumes One, Two,
and Three. Featured along with Slash are Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, Angela
Davis, Suzanne dePasse, Laurence Fishburne, Lou Gossett, Jr, Hill
Harper, Beverly Johnson, Suzan- Lori Parks, LaTanya Richardson, Chris
Rock, Maya Rudolph, Keenan Ivory Wayan and Serena Williams.The exhibit
is free admission to the public and runs until April 4 th.

"The Black List" premieres on February 8 on HBO.

For More Information on the exhibit: The Black List Project

(pictured: whoopi goldberg)

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