By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Harlem was a place of thriving Black artists and intellectuals, showcasing African American excellence far before the rest of the United States could ever appreciate or understand the true magic in melanin. Now Netflix is paying homage to the historic Black hub and Art Kane’s famed 1958 photo “A Great Day in Harlem”, in a new campaign called “Strong Black Lead.”
“This is not a moment. This is a movement,” the video declares as the camera pans to famous Black actors and creators of Netflix series and narrated by Caleb McLaughlin, the young Black man who stars in “Stranger Things.”
The cast of the Strong Black Lead video by Netflix. (Courtesy photo)
“This is a new day. Built from the ground, broken by legends. A day for our generation to see untold experiences of our Blackness,” McLaughlin says opening the video with the camera panning from filmmakers Ava DuVernay to Spike Lee.
Throughout the one-minute video, various artists are seen standing or sitting on the steps of the iconic Harlem brownstone, which originally showcased 57 of Harlem’s jazz greats in Kane’s 1958 photo.
Sixty years later, Black Hollywood has more to share.
“We’re not a genre, because there’s no one way to be Black. We’re writing while Black. Nuanced and complex. Resilient and strong,” the video affirms. “We are strong Black leads.”
The last line of the one-minute video is, “Today is great day in Hollywood.”
Beyond the magic of the melanin featured, journalist Britni Danielle shared more insight on the further importance this shoot was for the Black community.
“The day felt like a family reunion. It was a hot afternoon, but EVERYBODY was in great spirits. Alfre Woodard even led the team in a rendition of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’,” Danielle wrote.
The day felt like a family reunion. It was a hot afternoon, but EVERYBODY was in great spirits. Alfre Woodard even led the @strongblacklead team in a rendition of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ pic.twitter.com/c6uTZzXwu4
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) June 25, 2018