“This Is Not a Moment, This Is a Movement”: Netflix Celebrates Strong Black Leads by Re-Creating “A Great Day in Harlem”

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In a gorgeous recreation of Art Kane’s famous 1958 photograph “A Great Day in Harlem”, a black-and-white photo of 57 jazz musicians (including Tehlonious Monk, Charles Mingus, and more) published in Esquire, Netflix brought together 47 of their black actors, producers, writers, showrunners, and directors for “A Great Day in Hollywood”.

The commercial, which debuted at the BET Awards last night, is part of their “Strong Black Lead” campaign which highlights the platform’s projects from black creators like Dear White People, She’s Gotta Have It, and Luke Cage as well as their black talent on other Netflix originals such as 13 Reasons Why and GLOW. 

The photo was taken by Kwaku Alson and the video directed by Lacy Duke (Janelle Mone’s “I Like That”) is accompanied by a voiceover delivered by Caleb McLaughlin of Stranger Things. McLaughlin says:

“This is a new day built from the ground broken by legends. A day for our generation to see untold experiences of our blackness, representing a limitless range of identity. Playing kings and queens of our neighborhoods. Defeating larger-than-life forces trying to flip our world upside down, we stand up on any stage and every screen. A day when black women are boldly the lead character, whether inmates or scholars.

We’re not a genre because there’s no one way to be black. We’re writing while black—nuanced and complex, resilient and strong. This is not a moment, this is a movement. We are strong black leads. Today, is a great day in Hollywood.”

The full list of Netflix talents in the photo (did you spot your faves?):

Ajiona Alexus (13 Reasons Why)
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage; Juanita)
Alisha Boe (13 Reasons Why)
Antoinette Robertson (Dear White People)
Antonique Smith (Luke Cage)
Ashley Blaine Featherson (Dear White People)
Ava DuVernay (13th, Central Park Five)
Brett Gray (On My Block)
Britney Young (GLOW)
Caleb McLaughlin (Stranger Things)
Chante Adams (Roxanne Roxanne)
Cheo Hodari Coker (Luke Cage)
Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black)
Dawn Porter (Bobby Kennedy for President)
DeRay Davis (How To Act Black)
Derek Luke (13 Reasons Why)
DeRon Horton (Dear White People)
Gabrielle Dennis (Luke Cage)
Hayley Law (Altered Carbon; Riverdale)
Justin Simien (Dear White People)
Justine Simmons (All About The Washingtons)
Kano (Top Boy)
Kat Graham (The Holiday Calendar; How It Ends)
Kia Stevens (GLOW)
Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black)
Lena Waithe (Master of None; Dear White People; Step Sisters)
Logan Browning (Dear White People)
Marlon Wayans (Naked; Woke-ish)
Marque Richardson (Dear White People; Step Sisters)
Mike Colter (Luke Cage)
Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage)
Nia Long (Roxanne Roxanne, Dear White People)
Nia Jervier (Dear White People; Step Sisters)
Priah Ferguson (Stranger Things)
Quincy Brown (The Holiday Calendar)
Rapsody (Rapture)
Rev Run (All About The Washingtons)
Russell Hornsby (Seven Seconds)
Sacha Jenkins (Rapture)
Samantha Logan (13 Reasons Why)
Sierra Capri (On My Block)
Simone Missick (Luke Cage)
Spike Lee (She’s Gotta Have It)
Steven Silver (13 Reasons Why)
Sydelle Noel (GLOW)
Vaneza Oliveira (3%)
Yance Ford (Strong Island)

The group also sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the Black National Anthem, and it was joyous and amazing:

(via The Root, image: screencap)

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