Trendy Pop: Four Questions with “Black Folk Don’t” Creator Angela Tucker
For two seasons Black Folk Don’t the smashing series created by director-producer Angela Tucker has consistently delivered a stream of consciousness utilizing the assistance of satirical genius encased in interactive provocation that allows the viewers to indulge in their personal summarizations.
This unique way to tackle controversial topics that can ordinarily inspire heated debates has garnered the series well deserved attention. Time Magazine included Black Folk Don’t on the list of their “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life”, and there have been shout outs from such media outlets like NPR and Root.com and The Huffington Post.
Now it’s back for a third season, and this time residents in California are the ones offering their hysterically potent tales of what “Black Folks Don’t Do”. Do black people recognize the importance of going green? Do they indulge in plastic surgery, seek adoption, relate to feminism or survive the brutality of a horror movie? You will be subjected to the opinions of a variety of “Folk” including director Ava DuVernay. actress Lisa Gay Hamilton and renowned feminist Sikivu Hutchinson.
This is a project that challenges our perceptions in a ways that are inherently necessary in order to release the boundaries created by instilled stereotypes.
Produced by the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this ambitious series will run from December 2 until January 6.
We caught up with Angela Tucker who has already made a name for herself as a filmmaker who tackles issues, very few are willing to shed light on. She co-produced The New Black, a film that covers the multi-dimensional relationship between African-Americans and the LGBT community. She also collaborated with PBS to executive produce another socially conscious documentary AfroPop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange.
MTB: Can you give us an overview of your career trajectory?
AT: I went to graduate school at Columbia University in Film. While I was there, I took an internship at Big Mouth Film, a social issue documentary production company. Eventually I was hired and I worked as a Producer of several feature length documentary films including Pushing the Elephant, which premiered on PBS’ Independent Lens. I then directed a feature length documentary film called (A)sexual about people who experience no sexual attraction that is no available on iTunes and on VOD. I began Black Folk Don’t while editing (A)sexual.
MTB: You seem to be drawn to topics that either push the envelope or have elements of social consciousness, what is the motivation behind the subjects you choose to tackle?
AT: I never really look to push the envelope per say. I just work on projects that interest me. But I will admit that I am drawn to projects that feel taboo to talk about. I like to look at why things feel taboo. Social issue filmmaking is important to me. I like to work on projects that shed light on important issues. I do try to infuse humor into my work.
MTB: How did the ‘Black Folk Don’t’ Web Series come about and how would you explain its popularity?
AT: Black Public Media was doing a call for a Web series. I hadn’t really thought about doing a Web series before, but I have always worked on projects on the Internet, so it is a space in which I’m comfortable. I thought to myself, “What would a documentary Web series be?”
When I was going over the idea in my head, I knew I wanted to do something that was a provocative question. I thought about what would make people tune in week after week. I wanted to do something that had humor and was also provocative, so the Black Folk Don’t concept popped in my head.
MTB: As a filmmaker who happens to be African-American and a woman, do you feel extra pressure to produce certain types of work, and do you have anything new on the horizon?
AT: I don’t feel any pressure but I am sure that I choose to make works that take up social issues because I am African American and a woman. I recently did a Kickstarter campaign for a fiction short called Just The Three Of Us about a couple in their 70s. I am in post-production with that project which I also hope to turn into a feature length film.
Click here for a preview of Black Folk Don’t – California Edition.