Black  Hollywood Infographic and Panel

While I take great pride in my researching abilities and think I possess the fortitude to tackle a wide number of topics, when the deceased former President of NYFA, Jerry Sherlock, responded to the success of my Gender Inequality in Hollywood infographic with, "Now we'll do one for the blacks, and the queers, and the Asians," well, I could feel my heart stuck in my throat. As a white guy from rural, white Ohio, I did not feel like I was the person to tackle such an immense topic, that I may possess biases of my own that I'm not even aware of (Spoiler Alert: I was and am, and so do the rest of us, sorry!) Fortunately, I had the wisdom of Cheryl Bedford, a former teacher at the Los Angeles campus of NYFA who did not mince her words in condemning aspects of an earlier draft of the infographic as being racist, primarily for incorrectly measuring the success of white-led films against black-led films with the same yardstick. Unfortunately, while this was a rather involved infographic that didn't have the punch that the former one did, I still feel it could have done better than it did if we had released it prior to the Oscars. But despite having a limited design staff, NYFA Director of Design Sungha Shin was beyond helpful in making my tangled ideas into a decent infographic. And we still received some great write-ups and links from the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Colorlines, Bustle, and my personal favorite, the incredible Shadow & Act blog on Indiewire that is the best source I know of for keeping up to date on the best in film and TV from African-American and African Diaspora filmmakers.