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An Introduction to Black Writers Week 2023

Today, Juneteenth National Independence Day (which was made an official federal holiday by President Biden in 2021), marks the kick-off of our third Black Writers Week. Our celebration this week includes film and television, but also other aspects of the African-American experience, including a heartwarming column featuring graduates from kindergarten to university sharing their photographs and their words of wisdom for other students. It is heartening to hear what they have to say. We also note that The Academy of Motion Pictures Museum in Los Angeles has extended their inaugural exhibit, Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971, to July 22, and encourages all to visit to see the varied films and exhibits. For specific dates and times to watch the films chosen for the exhibit please see their official website.

Paul Robeson in The Emperor Jones (1933).

Here at we will have a week of great features all week. We discuss what it takes to be an independent filmmaker in today's environment. Coincidentally two of the filmmakers we talk to are from Chicago. Robert Daniels interviewed independent Chicago filmmaker Dewayne Perkins. Perkins' horror-satire film "The Blackening" gets three-and-a-half stars from Peyton Robinson. Daniels will also interview actor Lashana Lynch. In addition, Charles Kirkland looks at the changing face of Black people in horror, and Peyton Robinson analyzes the role of conscience in horror.

Mark Harris relays his long journey from reading screenplays to learn how to make movies, to selling his own dvd's from door-to-door, to now making what he considers his favorite movie: "Let's Make Eve," which comes out in August. 

Rendy Jones examines Black representation in animation and Brandon David Wilson writes about color-blind casting in 2023. Kaiya Shunyata pens an appreciation of Luca Guadagnino's "Bones and All," Brandon Towns looks at the return of the indie movie, and Shawn Edwards illuminates the impact of hip-hop on Hollywood. 

Afropunk characters in film and television are discussed by Sherin Nicole, Jewel Ifeguni shares her experience as a games producer at a Black-owned studio, and Lance R. Williams will explain how he, as a gamer dad navigates intergenerational gaming. 

A still from the "Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971" exhibit at The Academy of Motion Pictures Museum in Los Angeles.

On the film review front, Rendy Jones, Craig D. Lindsey, Carla Renata, Jourdain Searles and Brandon Towns will join Robert Daniels, Charles Kirkland, Peyton Robinson and Brandon David Wilson in reviewing such anticipated new releases as "Desperate Souls, Dark City, and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy," "God is a Bullet," "The Last Rider," "No Hard Feelings," "Quicksand," "Revoir Paris," "Sheroes," "Surrounded" and "The Stroll." We will have TV reviews of "The Bear" by Robert Daniels, "I'm a Virgo" by Peyton Robinson, and "Secret Invasion" by Kaiya Shunyata.

Here are our past Table of Contents for BWW 2021 and BWW 2022.

This is but a fraction of what awaits you. So do drop by every day from Monday, June 19 through Sunday, June 25.

And Happy Juneteenth to you. 

Chaz Ebert

Chaz is the CEO of several Ebert enterprises, including the President of The Ebert Company Ltd, and of Ebert Digital LLC, Publisher of, President of Ebert Productions and Chairman of the Board of The Roger and Chaz Ebert Foundation, and Co-Founder and Producer of Ebertfest, the film festival now in its 24th year.

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