The executive producers of the “What About Me” documentary— D. John Jackson, left, Darryl Pitts, center, and Taroue Brooks want to shed light on the hurdles of being Black film producers and the impotence of telling positive stories of Black men overcoming the vestiges of racism in this country. (Courtesy photos)
By AFRO Staff
5J Entertainment and the executive producers of the landmark documentary “What About Me” are pleased to announce that the socially-relevant documentary is now available on Amazon Prime Video beginning in February 2021, just in time for Black History Month.
“Amazon Prime Video provides us with a platform that will dramatically expand our audience reach across the nation,” said D. John Jackson of 5J Entertainment. “Our goal is to change the national conversation about the plight of African Americans by shining a light on Black men and their individual stories. Many of the stories have gone unnoticed by the mainstream media for generations.”
The hour-long program is expected to reach 70% of U.S. televisions around the country during its run in February. The men featured in the film include actor Marcus Scribner of ABC’s “Black-ish;” actor Timon Kyle Durrett of OWN’s “Queen Sugar;” actor Roshon Fegan of OWN’s “Greenleaf;” attorney Todd Belcore of Social Change; and Civil Rights Attorney J. Wyndal Gordon – The Warrior Lawyer.
“During the course of the film, viewers will be taken on an unexpected journey into the daily lives, struggles, and achievements of Black men who want to make a difference in their careers, families, and communities,” said Taroue Brooks, executive producer. “We believe important film segments will inspire a national conversation about criminal justice reform, economic development, political power, and modern-day racism. These dialogs are particularly important as the country has entered into a historic period of civil unrest and transformation.”
“From the violent insurrection on U.S. Congress fueled by the White Nationalist movement to the health of Black Americans endangered by COVID-19, to millions of like-minded individuals taking to the streets to protest deadly force by law enforcement, this documentary is more important now than ever,” said Darryl Pitts, executive producer. “Despite our significant contributions to society, Black men are still in the fight for our lives. We must be engaged in the national conservation or the United States will never be successful in taking the necessary steps towards achieving unity and equality.”
Megan T. Ebor, Ph.D., director/writer of the 2012 award-winning documentary “Even Me,” said “What About Me” provides a refreshing and long overdue depiction of positive Black men in America. She added the film defies societal myths perpetuated through various media outlets of the absent Black father and offers a more balanced narrative insisting that parental absenteeism is a human problem that occurs across groups.
“An overarching theme that is reiterated throughout the film drives home the point that Black men are not a monolith and are so much more than the limited representations propagated in American culture,” said Ebor. “The film thoughtfully demonstrates the vulnerabilities of Black men as they recount incidents of discrimination, microaggressions, and racially-motivated violence regardless of class/societal positionality. As a racial scholar, researcher, and mother of three Black sons, I can attest, that this film is a primary example of the importance and necessity of diverse filmmakers. Here, the three executive producers thought it critically important to expand upon the Black narrative— telling the untold stories of what it is to be successful, proud, educated, talented, and community-driven Black men in America. The brotherhood and mentorship shown in the latter portion of the film (through the stories of Thompson McLeod, Tyson Dowdell, Nate Tinbite, and Trey Causey) are heartwarming visuals that raise the visibility of the good work being done in our communities, for which the heroes often go unsung.”
Edor concluded that the documentary gives hope and perspective of Black narratives that are often overlooked, rarely celebrated, and considered not to be newsworthy.
For more information about the film, please visit Facebook and Instagram at @whataboutmedocumentary.