by Angela McShan for Urban Mindz
“Do it for the culture” is a tagline that ignites emotions in Black people around the globe. Cultural proficiency is an illuminated stretch beyond the “stay woke” movement. It is instead a natural ability that one has to identify their values and competency about their culture.
This type of cultural proficiency overwhelmingly surfaces for African Americans when movies such as Little, Girls Trip, and other great Will Packer productions hit theaters. These films generate billions of dollars at the box office because of their respect, honor, and acknowledgment of Black culture.
Hollywood hasn’t always provided a platform for African Americans to produce or perform. The lack of opportunities to do either was the primary culprit that supported the deficiency of available Black films. Will Packer’s approach to movie production is one that has established a cultural tone. It gives a voice to Black filmmakers, actors, and other creatives. The sound resonates from the brilliance of the writing to the laughter, tears, and joy that can be felt throughout theaters.
The stereotype that is attached to the term “mainstream movies” has been redefined. Big box films such as Little captivates audiences of all colors. It was more than the comedic nature of screen production. The production of this movie presented an amazing opportunity for a young Black girl to live out her dreams of becoming more than just an actress. Marsai Martin played a major role on and off the screen, working alongside Packer to help produce Little.
Packer’s collaborations with Black actors and producers have projected a major impact on Black culture. His movies like Stomp the Yard depict an up-close and personal perspective of HBCUs. This perspective creates excitement in African Americans that inspires them to seek higher learning and dig deeper into learning more about their history. Little was big proof that there is no age limit to being creative. Girls Trip is a celebration of friendships between Black women while bonding during one of the biggest African American festivals that take place each year. It provided texture and romance within the culture that inspired Black women to get together for a girl’s night out, road trips, and to reconnect and live their best lives.
Packer’s Night School, Think Like a Man, and Breaking In are a few of the movies that have completely changed the dynamic of how Blacks are portrayed in movies. These movies have also changed how Blacks contribute to the success of the film industry. The impact is a significant one that has influenced others in the industry to look beyond race and see the talent and creativity that exists in Black creatives.
Thanks to the debut of these amazing films, Black Americans are not only showing up to see these movies, they are showing up on the screen, behind the cameras, and overseeing the entire production. Hollywood, brace yourself. The path for Black creativity has been paved out and brilliant minds are on track to deliver intriguing entertainment for all audiences.