ABOVE PHOTO: Director Lee Daniels and award-winning journalist Elvis Mitchell.
They’re artists, academics, activists, authors and more.
Following the first two acclaimed editions of “The Black List,” the all-new documentary “The Black List: Volume Three” features African-American notables sharing candid stories and revealing insights into the struggles, triumphs and joys of black life in the U.S. when it debuts Monday, Feb. 8 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. The film is a unique collaboration between distinguished portrait photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, who directs, and award-winning journalist Elvis Mitchell, who interviews a host of influential people.
Other HBO playdates: Feb. 13 (1:30 PM), 17 (11:30 PM), 19 (5:00 PM), 21 (9:00 AM), 23 (2:00 PM, 8:30 PM) and 26 (11:00 AM)
HBO2 playdates: Feb. 11 (12:30 PM) and 17 (8:00 PM)
Like its previous installments, “The Black List: Volume Three” profiles some of today’s most interesting African-Americans. From the childhood inspirations that shaped their ambitions, to the evolving American landscape they helped define, to the importance of preserving a unique cultural identity for future generations, these prominent individuals offer a fascinating look into the zeitgeist (trend of thought) of black America, redefining the traditional pejorative notion of a blacklist.
Among those featured in The Black List: Volume Three are: director-producer Lee Daniels (“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”), Oscar® winner and TV host Whoopi Goldberg, actor Hill Harper, model Beverly Johnson, BET CEO Debra L. Lee, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter John Legend, United Negro College Fund president Dr. Michael Lomax and actress LaTanya Richardson.
As in the previous two editions, Mitchell does not appear on screen, which allows the subjects’ own voices to remain the focus. Introduced via simple IDs, the interviewees speak directly into the camera, sharing insights into what it was like growing up black in America, how their backgrounds shaped their philosophies, and what they feel about a society where new opportunities abound, but discrimination still exists.
In May 2006, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Elvis Mitchell first conceptualized what would become “The Black List Project,” discussing the idea of collaborating on a book on black culture, which eventually led to the first “Black List” documentary on HBO. They wanted “The Black List Project” to be not just an enumeration of obstacles overcome, but also a unique source of insights that would emphasize the elegance and determination of its subjects. The title “The Black List” was conceived by Mitchell as an antidote to the persistent taint that western culture has applied to the word “black.”
In 2008, “The Black List: Volume One” was selected for the Sundance Film Festival and won the NAACP Documentary Award. Variety called the film “an impeccably mounted survey of voices from across the spectrum of African-American accomplishment…a rich and revealing work of portraiture.”
The first two installments of “The Black List” featured such notables as: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Majora Carter, Sean Combs, Angela Davis, Suzanne de Passe, Laurence Fishburne, Thelma Golden, Lou Gossett Jr., Barbara Harris, T.D. Jakes, Bill T. Jones, Vernon Jordan, Marc Morial, Toni Morrison, Suzan-Lori Parks, Richard Parsons, Deval Patrick, Tyler Perry, Charley Pride, Susan Rice, Valerie Montgomery Rice, Patrick Robinson, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Rza, Al Sharpton, Lorna Simpson, Slash, Melvin Van Peebles, Kara Walker, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Serena Williams and Zane.
All three films are part of “The Black List Project,” a multimedia initiative conceived by Greenfield-Sanders and Mitchell, which also includes a museum exhibition of photographic portraits, a book of those photographs and monologues, and an educational initiative with the United Negro College Fund.