MILWAUKEE — Amplifying Black stories during a pandemic: As Black History Month kicks off, TMJ4 News took a deeper look into why Black filmmakers say it's important to continue producing Black films even during such a difficult time.
“It’s all about how we see ourselves. How we show ourselves,” said Geraud Blanks, Director of Cultures and Communities with Milwaukee Film.
Blanks said COVID-19 has turned what normally is Black Lens’ physical celebration of Black storytelling into a virtual one, but a celebration nonetheless.
“We had to switch up. I mean, no one was prepared for this,” Blanks said.
This year, people can enjoy Black Lens’ Black History Month content from their living rooms, or even on their phones; ordering movies and logging onto virtual panels.
Black filmmakers, like O’Shay Forrman of Tennessee or Chadwick Gobar of Virginia, say organizations like Milwaukee Film’s Black Lens are critical – helping share Black stories at a time where Black issues have shown to be the world’s issues, as well.
“Our country is a melting pot of culture. So it’s important to have those different stories,” Foreman said.
Foreman said it's critical seeing Black people telling these stories in order to help dispel stereotypes of Black people. Getting these stories out to the masses is aided by Black film organizations, he added.
“For such a long time, our voices have been muted and silenced and our position has been made worse by the lack of having a voice,” Gobar said.
For more information about the Black Lens’ Black History Month, click here.