Black excellence is raking in the fans

For decades Hollywood was dominated by lily-white casts that weren’t particularly honest representations of the US’s diverse cities. The #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2015 and 2016 – where no people of colour were nominated for the 20 acting nominations – marked a turning point

It makes business sense too, if the findings of the 2022 Hollywood Diversity Report are anything to go by. Films with more diverse casts perform better at the box office. In eight of the top 10 theatre-released films in 2021 at least 30% of cast members were from minorities, while films with less than 11% minority actors were the lowest box-office performers. 

And diverse audiences are also keeping the industry alive, as the authors of the report noted: “Every time there was a big movie that exceeded expectations or broke a record, 53% to 60% of opening weekend audiences were people of colour… Studios should consider them to be investors, and as an investor, they should get their return, in the form of representation.”

So in that spirit, here’s a line-up of black excellence in entertainment we’re looking forward to!

🔹The much anticipated trailer for the second Black Panther was released over the weekend at the San Diego Comic Convention and it is glorious! The original film was the first Marvel Studios film with a black director and a predominantly black cast and was a resounding success. The sequel, titled Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, set to be released in November 2022, has faced numerous hurdles including star Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death

🔹Beyoncé’s recent projects have spotlighted the black experience in the US and globally in powerful ways, from Lemonade to Black Is King – her ode to Africa. Fans of the iconic entertainer have been desperate for new music and she sent the internet into a tailspin of delight last month with the release of the lead single to her upcoming album Renaissance. Titled Break My Soul, it’s been dubbed an anthem for The Great Resignation, with lyrics reflecting the post-pandemic exhaustion with how corporations have long treated workers. 

The full album, which promises to be a homage to ’90s dance music, will be released tomorrow just in time for the weekend. So put on your dancing shoes and await the return of the Queen. 🐝

🔹Jordan Peele initiated a new genre of black horror like the astounding indie success of 2017’s Get Out and the less coherent Us (2019), both of which tease themes of race and class into compelling horror stories. Now his new movie Nope, about aliens that don’t come in peace, is performing really well at the box office. You can catch it in SA from 19 August 2022 at a cinema near you.

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