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In the past few years, it seems a floodgate has opened, releasing a deluge of tremendously successful media that centers the Black experience. “Get Out,” “Black Panther,” and HBO’s “Watchmen” are just some of the big-budget prestige projects that have drawn huge audiences and dominated the cultural conversation. In a special episode, The New Yorker Radio Hour looks at this moment in Black entertainment and investigates the industry forces behind it. Barry Jenkins, the director of “Moonlight,” talks about how Barack Obama’s Presidency opened doors for Black creators. A film scholar recounts the history of the complicated relationship between studios and Black audiences. And the actor Sheryl Lee Ralph looks at what’s changed in Hollywood in the decades since her first film role, opposite Sidney Poitier.
Hollywood’s Fraught History with Black Audiences
The film scholar Aymar Jean Christian explains how Black audiences have repeatedly bailed Hollywood out at its most vulnerable moments.
Barry Jenkins on How Black Directors Have Transformed Filmmaking
The director of “Moonlight” talks with David Remnick about the doors Obama’s Presidency opened in Hollywood, Spike Lee’s influence, and building a “tapestry” of Black stories.
Sheryl Lee Ralph on Confronting Hollywood
The star of ABC’s “Abbott Elementary” has worked with greats such as Sidney Poitier and Lauryn Hill. She talks with Vinson Cunningham about how the industry has changed for Black entertainers and creators since the seventies.
The New Yorker Radio Hour is a co-production of WNYC Studios and The New Yorker.