A highlight from YaKe Smith (Ep. 26, 2021)

In Black America


From the university of texas at austin k. Ut radio this is in black. America how do people black renaissance. Well you happened. Have money for example. When i think of someone like tyler perry who billionaire the way you continue that tyler needs to go out of our giving check. Tony black in the filmmaker might so that week 'cause he has the money not only to fund but he has the money to distribute. He has the money to give a platform to. And i'm just using him as an example but there are many other. We have been big stars in hollywood. I'm not gonna name all of them but if we really start thinking about that. That's that's how you open the doors that we have to make sure that we are not only a making the wet but they were controlling the way the copter the cotton because we are out there. There's an audience for work. The problem is a lot of time. Leo don't have enough imagination to find that. And if they would give us the power in the money to do it then we will find out what he get what we are the audience right for the under thirty on Because we come from that they have community as the audience which reach yawkey smith associate dean of diversity equity and inclusion and associate professor pam at the university of texas at austin this past spring. The moody college of communication at the university of texas austin held us narrow diversity in media symposium this annual symposium is dedicated to join an aspect of diversity equity inclusion accessibility and social justice across the media. Eagles system this year is virtual symposium was entitled. Is this black media. renaissance real. The focus was on race in the media the civically blackness and his re emergence in popular discourse over recent news surrounding the conversation regarding ways. What would it sound. Look and feel like five to ten years from now. I'm johnny o. Hinton junior and welcome to another edition of in black america on this week's program is this black media renaissance real professor yacky smith in black america. Basically what we're asking this year is is this renaissance right now. We see blackness everywhere right we. We have this renaissance of black people in film and journalism. Podcasting see it everywhere and and and we're posing the question not just is the media renaissance black new sauce real. But how do we sustain it right. We have seen moments in history. Where again you know like black people were in in in a lot of tv shows and then disappeared and then we have films. I i think about the different movements film We come in for five years and then disappear for some reason and the question becomes how do we sustain that movement. Until that's what will be interrogating and we have some great speakers. We have pamela luke Who is a professor at nyu and she wrote his way. Book called diversity in the failed promise of a billion dollar business. Which i think is great. We have gene denby who is Podcast or and a co host of a podcast called codeswitch able blinks in. Who was the senior vice president. Marketing and communications for the new black renaissance is a phrase that says gain a lot of traction in recent years like to harlem renaissance and the black arts movement forward african american. Creativity is undeniably driving asking permission to exist validation from the largest community that will prefer african americans to remain other. Make no mistake about. African americans are flexing their an flaws pop culture politics the arts business fashion sports entertainment film and television. This past spring the moody college of communications at the university of texas at austin hale sinaga diversion media some gyp. This year's virtual symposium was entitled. Is this black media renaissance real given the rise of a new african american awareness. This symposium was riding on in black. America spoke with jackie smith a professor in the college and dean of diversity equity and inclusion. I understand that you grew up in san antonio texas. I did i wasn't born now. Was born in portland. A woman but i have only known san antonio at home. I don't remember missouri. And yeah. I grew up. There went to families and haiku on the east side of san antonio to the university of in corner word before moving to austin to attend school. Ut and any brothers and sisters. yeah. I have two sisters and they don't live there anymore. One of my sisters in the military and she's in georgia the other one lives in houston. What initially sparked that that that interested in in fill. Yeah you know. It's interesting so grew up. You know obviously watching movies you know. My mom was a big movie buff so we were always at the theater. And you know we had Vhs player people might not even know that here. We've always been like blockbuster reno friday night. They the two nine man special would not and Just always sort of grew up with films always knew i wanted to be a storyteller but didn't think that one didn't really understand that people made movies and also didn't understand that i would ever have to do it. I actually learned people did but it was eleven years old. When i saw boys in the hood that i say this is what i want to do and it was from that moment on it i started to really like study. How films made study screenwriting. I would lock myself up in the library Which was next door to the apartment that we live in and and just like thirty film and and really just like study filmmakers the history of syndrome specifically really black to them and Yeah and and from that point on. I just said you know what this is what i'm gonna do it. I've been doing it ever since you know. I made my first movie at age. Fifteen and Have been going strong ever said so. What was the name of that movie stolen dreams and it was interesting because what i used to do you know i used to. You know. watch them. And i'm watching like again like medicine society new jack city boys and the food and i used to sort of make films that were not only inspired by those movies but honestly like riffs off of those films used to have like some of the same the matic element but always with some sort of socially conscious lands. I was always sort of very aware that film could be used as a two for liberation and also at the to to really comment on issues that we have the tendency to sweep under the road right always understood that you had a captive audience when you made a film that people were in the dark theater or they were on their couch in for television and so you could sort of arrest them with the narrative that you Were telling and so. I always sort of knew that. That's what i wanted to do it. So even in those early work again riffing off of those popular films. I was always sort of finding a way to do some sort of socially conscious issue into the work. Now when you make a film. I was lead. There has to be a thought process. So are you envisioning the fam- prior to you actually shooting it. Yeah you know it's interesting 'cause this becomes a film cliche when i'm about to say but it's so real you know like if you go right into the movie you have to be able to sort of take all the different hats right apple when when i'm writing a film i'm not necessarily thinking about the directing of it to be honest with you. I just want to write. The story concur. So i'm thinking about like the matic elements. I'm thinking about dialogue. i'm thinking about sort of the story. Structure the the the sort of acts of the film The journey of the characters. All of that and then once. I'm done with that then. I take that hat off. And

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