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These 50 Black Directors Influenced The Culture, And The World, And I'm Here To Give Them Their Roses

There are a lot of Black directors who influenced the culture that we need to talk about ASAP.

Don't lie, if I asked you right now how many Black directors you could name off the top of your head you will say Spike Lee and Tyler Perry and think you nailed it. YES, they did big things for the culture but there are dozens more you probably didn't even know directed your favorite movies.

For decades, Black filmmakers have challenged the status quo to create premium cinematic masterpieces that brought Black culture to the forefront. They deserve their flowers.

50. Janet Mock

Janet Mock posing

49. Peter Ramsey

48. Regina King

47. Eddie Murphy

46. Melina Matsoukas

Melina Matsoukas poses

45. Chris Rock

44. Amma Asante

Close up of Amma

43. Justin Simien

Justin Simien posing

42. Lee Daniels

Lee Daniels poses

41. Hype Williams

40. Victoria Mahoney

Victoria smiles for a picture

39. Denzel Washington

38. Forest Whitaker

Whitaker smiles with his hands up

37. Dee Rees

Dee smiles and poses

36. Ossie Davis

Ossie Davis sits on the right in a group photo

35. Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry smiles

34. Carl Franklin

Carl Franklin smiles

33. Bill Duke

Bill Duke makes a peace sign with his fingers

32. Allen Hughes

Allen Hughes hugs Mark Wahlberg

31. Albert Hughes

30. Tim Story

Tom Story poses for a picture

29. Reginald Hudlin

Hudlin speaks to an audience

28. Paris Barclay

Barclay smiles for the camera

27. Steve McQueen

McQueen accepts an award

26. Sidney Poitier

25. Malcolm D. Lee

Malcolm D. Lee poses for a pic

24. Jordan Peele

23. Ryan Coogler

22. Ava DuVernay

Ava smiles in a stunning pink blazer

21. Barry Jenkins

barry jenkins poses with an award

20. Kasi Lemmons

Kasi speaks on stage while holding an award

19. Ice Cube

ice cube rapping

18. Mario Van Peebles

Mario smiles for a picture

17. Antoine Fuqua

Fuqua smiles for a picture

16. Marlon Riggs

As revistas de programação de JUNHO nos Cinemas do IMS Rio/SP. Com Marlon Riggs Mantas Kvedaravičius Maria Augusta Ramos Radu Jean Xadalu Tupã Jekupé Everlane Moraes Daniel Bandeira Emily Jacir José Mojica Marins Pedro Costa Jorge Furtado Eliane Café https://t.co/UOVOf0LaYB

Twitter: @kmendoncafilho / Signifyin' Works / Via Twitter: @kmendoncafilho

Marlon Riggs is a filmmaker and gay rights activist telling stories of the intersectionality of the Black experience and sexuality. During the height of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, Riggs challenged ridicule and ignorance to present positive images of Black culture and highlight the unfortunate taboo relationship of romance between Black men with his documentary filmmaking. Even today, the culture struggles to find a unified voice on topics involving the Black community and sexuality, as seen in response to artists like Megan Thee Stallion or Lil Nas X. His documentary work includes Ethnic Notions (1987), an examination of the struggles from the antebellum period to the Civil Rights movement, and Tongues Untied (1989), a portrait of the battle of Black gay men within the heterosexual and white gay society.

15. Julie Dash

14. Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gina Prince-Bythewood speaks to a crowd

13. Ernest Dickerson

Dickerson sits on a chair and answers questions

12. Charles Burnett

Burnett poses with his hands on his head

11. F. Gary Gray

10. Keenen Ivory Wayans

Keenen, Marlon, and Damon Wayans post for a picture wearing suits

9. Gordon Parks Jr.

Curtis Mayfield & Gordon Parks Jr. on the set of Superfly (1972)

Twitter: @tnpcollection / Everett Collection / Via Twitter: @tnpcollection

Gordon Parks Jr. is the son of celebrated director and photojournalist, Gordon Parks. Jr directed a few films before his untimely death including Superfly (1972), Three The Hard Way (1974), and Aaron Love Angela (1975).

8. Robert Townsend

7. Kathleen Collins

Kathleen Collins’ (1942-1988) film LOSING GROUND (1982) was one of the first narrative feature films directed by a Black woman to be released in the U.S. @jasminprix interviewed Collins’ daughter, Nina Lorez Collins, about preserving her mother’s legacy: https://t.co/PN1py8SqHN

Black Women Radicals / kathleencollins.org / Via Twitter: @blkwomenradical

Kathleen Collins was a brilliant writer, filmmaker, educator, and civil rights activist who fought for Black voting rights. She authored many types of creative work, including screenplays, poetry, and stage plays, many of which found notoriety after she died from breast cancer in 1988. Collins's work paved the way for the Black women directors of today. Her features The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy (1980) and Losing Ground (1982) will go down in film history as a stepping stone for the culture and women's cinema.

6. John Singleton

5. William Greaves

Greaves clasps his hands and speaks to an audience

4. Melvin Van Peebles

Melvin Van Peebles poses while wearing a fedora

3. Oscar Micheaux

Micheaux movie poster

2. Spike Lee

1. Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks sits with his hand to his chin

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