AllBlk hosted the “Developing and Creating While Black” panel during the AMC streamer’s TCA presentation on Tuesday, featuring MC Lyte (Partners in Rhyme), Michelle Ebony Hardy and Katrina Y. Nelson (Lace), Kaye Singleton (Covenant), and AllBlk’s VP Development and Production, Nikki Love.
They discussing the contributions of Black women to TV and supporting Black talent in their respective projects.
“We started working on Lace back in 2012 when there weren’t that many Black women in lead roles, especially in dramas,” Nelson said. “We have women in comedy but not in drama. So, just to be able to see someone that looks like us in a drama that is an attorney in a series that also has a diverse cast, has been a priority for us.”
She continued, “As Black women, we want us shown in a positive light; we’re not all drug dealers and we’re not all crackheads. You know, we do have great jobs and we’re out here as businesswomen. We wanted to see that. We also wanted to bring that to the table so everyone can see that there’s not only one way to do it. We wanted to show the different aspects of being a Black woman.”
Hardy also celebrates the opportunities available to creators via AllBlk, like highlighting the diversity within the Black community.
“There’s not just one way to be Black, there’s so much diversity within the Black race and culture, and different experiences,” she said. “I think when you watch Lace, you have the opportunity to see all the different layers and personalities and experiences. And how they’re powerful, intelligent, and beautiful but also having vulnerabilities and being relatable.”
Lyte, a rapper-turned-actress/creator, reflected on her journey from hip-hop star to the small screen and her commitment to supporting Black talent both in front of and behind the cameras.
“It took me a long time to get here, she said. “Look at some of my peers that I entered into the business with, they’ve done sitcoms and moved on and now here I am embarking on my first sitcom as the star.”
She added, “With this show, I get to have fun which is of utmost importance because I want to enjoy projects I’m committing to. But also to give opportunities to other actors, writers, and production staff to see everyone working and sharing their superpowers. That brings me a lot of joy. To me, it’s just an extension of being in hip-hop. My main goal is to inspire, so by whatever means I’m able to do that I’m satisfied.”
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