Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Ruben Santiago-Hudson Challenges Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry To Harlem Renaissance Screen Collaboration

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act January 7, 2014 at 12:03PM

Ruben Santiago Hudson Challenges Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry To Harlem Renaissance Screen Collaboration
2
Ruben Santiago Hudson

Thanks to Jana for alerting me to this November 2013 interview with Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

In it, Santiago-Hudson expresses his strong desire to see a TV mini-series production that comprehensively tells the many stories of the Harlem Renaissance. In his words, he'd need about 10 hours total (5 parts, 2 hours each), not a 2-hour movie, for the project, and he essentially challenges the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Denzel Washington, and other black Hollywood elites, to "come together" and make the Harlem Renaissance story a priority project, which, of course, he'd like to be involved in. 

He says he's been trying to get it done for a decade, with no luck apparently, suggesting that it would require a combined effort, including those like the above, with the resources, and the connections, to make the project a reality.

When asked by the interviewers why it hasn't already happened, Santiago-Hudson lists a couple of reasons, including what he feels is a crabs in a barrel mentality, as well as an unhealthy individualism, and lack of community. 

Worth noting in all this is that, a couple of months before this interview with Santiago-Hudson was posted to YouTube (from Arise Entertainment), one of the people he called out, Oprah Winfrey, revealed in a New York Daily News profile of ahead of Lee Daniels The Butler's release, that she had spoken with producer-director George C. Wolfe about a possible miniseries on the Harlem Renaissance.

I'm not certain whether Santiago-Hudson was aware of this when he gave the below interview to Arise Entertainment, but no further details were available at the time to share - like how deep the conversations between Oprah and Wolfe went, and whether much came out of them. I'd assume it's something she wants to act in.

So now word on whether, since last fall, any movement on any Harlem Renaissance project (whether from Santiago-Hudson, Oprah, Wolfe, or all of them collectively) has happened. I'd assume that now it's all out in the open (interest from 3 different parties), it may only be a matter of time before something comes together, and, eventually, there's a formal announcement of a project. 

The Harlem Renaissance covers so much, with a wealth of material to look to for inspiration. This mini-series could attempt to paint a portrait of the period, with multiple stories that intertwine (or not); or it could zoom in on the life of a single person, through whose story we experience the spirit of the times.

And George C. Wolfe is a director I'd bet on for something like this. And if Ruben Santiago-Hudson is one of its stars, that would be great too! Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry can produce.

Let's see if anything comes of all this.

Watch the full interview with Santiago-Hudson below; the part during which he talks about a Harlem Renaissance project, and telling our own stories, starts around the 10-minute mark:

This article is related to: Ruben S. Hudson


Shadow & ActNewsletter