Summary Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me is an inspirational 2018 documentary directed by Olivia Lichtenstein about the life and career of the legendary R&B singer. Born and raised…
“Hollywood Shuffle” is a 1987 satirical film directed by Robert Townsend that uses comedy to provide commentary on the stereotypical roles and portrayals of Black people in film and television. Bobby Taylor (Townsend) is an aspiring actor living with his family and working at a hot dog stand while hoping for his big break. He goes through the process of auditioning for the lead role in “Jivetime Jimmy’s Revenge” excited about the idea of becoming a big star and the money and changes it will bring for his family. But the experience also exposes him to the industry’s prejudiced beliefs about Black people and leads to questions about his morals and integrity.
“Black Hollywood: They’ve Gotta Have Us” is a three-part television miniseries about the history of Black actors and filmmakers in Hollywood. Directed by Simon Frederick, the series features commentary and insights from actors, directors, and others involved in the making of films. They discuss not only specific notable films and roles but also a more birds eye view of how the landscape has changed and also remained the same for Black people in Hollywood.
“Standing in the Shadows of Motown” is a 2002 documentary about the Funk Brothers, a group of talented musicians who backed Motown’s singers on tour but most importantly studio sessions. As individuals as well as a group, the Funk Brothers were relatively unknown to the mainstream public despite performing on Motown’s biggest hits.
“My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire is an autobiography by Maurice White written in collaboration with Herb Powell. The book tells the story of White’s early life growing up in Memphis and his eventual move to Chicago where he decided to pursue music as a career. Fans of Earth Wind & Fire might particularly enjoy learning about the vision that went into forming the group, the making of various songs, and how it was all translated for live stage shows. The book would also be a great pick for people who are interested in music history and/or the music industry though they might not necessarily be fans of the band.