The Stream

#OscarsSoWhite: Why is it so hard to acknowledge the talents of black Hollywood?

From Harry Belafonte to Black Panther, new series ‘They’ve Gotta Have Us’ celebrates the history and highlights of black cinema.

In “They’ve Gotta Have Us,” a three-part documentary series now available on Netflix, British photographer Simon Frederick examines the pivotal moments in black film history that paved the way for today’s African American and Black British creatives to achieve mainstream success.

Featuring interviews with Harry Belafonte, Diahann Carroll, John Singleton, David Oyelowo and others, Frederick traces the evolution of black representation in film and captures the struggles of black actors, producers and directors to change Hollywood’s characterisations of black people away from simple stereotypes.

In this episode, we’ll look at modern black representation in film and the challenges black creatives face in the industry. We’ll also discuss why recognition from major awards organisations like the Oscars and BAFTAs don’t reflect the increasingly diverse casting of Hollywood movies.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with: 

Simon Frederick, @artistsimonF
Director, “They’ve Gotta Have Us”

Heather Harris
Professor of Communications, Stevenson University


Read more:
Three years after Moonlight, why are awards shows still so white? – Guardian
Top films were more diverse than ever before, study finds – AP


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