Black History Film Festival

This was the last night of the Chicago Urban League’s Black History Film Festival, and the films were either created by youth or inspired by youth.  We saw 2 films created by 2 young ladies, Faith Alyce and Jordan Taylor.  These young ladies worked with adult mentors to create their very first films.  The last film we saw starred Chicago Urban League staffer, Chelsea Whittington.

“Intersectional” – Why should black women be in film? (Directed & Filmed by Faith Alyce)

The message of this film is REPRESENTATION!!!! Black women actors barely exist in films, movies, and popular media in general.  Black women actors and musicians are very talented. Often, Black women have displayed more talent than male actors, including Black male actors.  This film boldly demands that there must be more Black women actresses in popular films with big budgets and media attention.  There must be an increase in opportunities for Black women as leading actresses.  This film can encourage future actresses to pursue their dreams and passions.

“No Excuses” (Directed & filmed by Jordan Taylor)

This encouraging film is about at-risk teens with very low grades, a risky GPA, and worst of all, dropping out of school. This film gives a warning of what will happen if you fail to complete school.  We meet a few different characters in this film of different identities and backgrounds, but we also learn that a student can be successful if they focus on those things that are important such as school and the pursuit of financial stability.

“Comes to Shove” created by Mark Spencer

This is a very relatable film about teens that are being bullied; the topics in this film were about bullies forcing a young teen girl to cut her hair after she refused to do so. The bullies also poured acid down the girl’s head, neck and body.  Though this was a good short film, this film was left a bit unexplained at the end.  We are left to really wonder, how bullying can really be stopped?  Telling a student to stop bullying one another does not mean they will actually stop bullying.  I would have liked to see more suggestions and ways to stop bullies from harming others.

– James Hampton is a junior at Corliss S.T.E.M. academy and active participant in CUL’s Human Capital program.