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‘Black History Captured on Film’: Lincoln ‘Stepin Fetchit’ Perry

by Betti Halsell

First Black Million-Dollar Actor Lincoln ‘Stepin Fetchit’ Perry Created Doors of Opportunity for the Black Community, but Don’t Speak His Name On Set.  

In the film industry, being labeled a ‘Stepin Fetchit’ is the equivalent to being called an Uncle Tom. How did Lincoln Perry’s movie star character become such a poisonous dagger you ask? Well, that’s a twisted narrative filled with domestic abuse, a murderous son, and his inability to evolve with the social awareness surrounding the Civil Rights Movement…where to begin.  

Perry’s career started off breaking through cemented racial barriers in the film industry, he is widely celebrated for being the first Black actor to make a million dollars. Perry was the first Black talent to be credited in a motion picture in the 1920s.  

Lincoln Perry in Judge Priest (1934)

However, he built his empire in one of the most controversial ways possible, capitalizing on negative stereotypes that led to his ultimate demise. The character he played earned him the title of “the laziest man on earth,” setting the tone for the rest of the world to believe this to be true for all Black people. A possible red flag to reflect on, but Perry continued.  

Getting into his personal life, he went through two marriages. Both women at one point ended up with a broken nose. This led to lawsuits and legal obligation to contribute to child support. It didn’t help that one of his sons grew up only despising the legacy his old man rendered his wealth from. 

Living as the son of the theatrical Uncle Tom, in a time of radical moves to eradicate racial injustice, may have driven Jr. (he definitely wouldn’t like that I called him Jr.) to go on a freeway shooting spree, killing over 20 people before turning the gun on himself. Are you starting to see why we don’t bring this guy up too often? 

It’s been a love/hate, (mostly hate) relationship with good ol’ Stepin Fetchit, on one hand, he did the impossible, on the other hand he slowed down progress for social evolution during an extreme battle for equality. In Perry’s case, you win some, and then you lose it all. To end on a positive note, Perry has been recognized with a Hollywood Star and the NAACP provided him with an image award, assuming we are focused on the ‘breaking barriers’ side of his narration.  

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Film & Television

‘Bruised’: Watch Trailer For Halle Berry’s Directorial Debut

Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry directs and stars in a new Netflix mixed martial arts drama, Bruised.

The story follows Jackie Justice (Berry), a mixed martial arts fighter who leaves the sport in disgrace. Down on her luck and simmering with rage and regret years after her last fight, she’s coaxed into a brutal underground fight by her manager and boyfriend Desi (Adan Canto) and grabs the attention of a fight league promoter (Shamier Anderson) who promises Jackie a life back in the octagon. But the road to redemption becomes unexpectedly personal when Manny (Danny Boyd, Jr.) — the son she gave up as an infant — shows up at her doorstep.

Bruised also stars Adriane Lenox, Sheila Atim, Valentina Shevchenko, and Stephen McKinley Henderson.

The film is slated to release in theaters on Nov. 17 before dropping on Netflix on Nov. 24. Watch the trailer above.

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Film & Television

Angela Bassett’s Wax Figure Unveiled

Seeing double?

The world-renowned wax museum Madame Tussauds unveiled Angela Bassett‘s new wax figure and we are at a total loss of words! Seriously, how can you tell them apart?!?

The Black Panther star took to Instagram to share the big reveal of her flawless replica. “Oh, lord! I’m a twin,” Bassett said in a video as she admired the stunning model. “Oh, my God, it’s so lifelike. It’s like it’s gonna jump alive and give me a hug.”

This is arguably one of the best work the museum has done. See the photos below and let us know if you agree.

Angela Bassett's wax figure
Angela Bassett's wax figure

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Film & Television

Robin Givens Joins ‘Head of The Class’ reboot as grown-up Darlene Merriman

Robin Givens is reprising her role as Darlene Merriman in HBO Max’s Head of the Class reboot 35 years after the original sitcom aired.

The new Head of the Class is inspired by ABC’s 1980s sitcom of the same title. It will revolve around a group of overachieving high school students who meet their greatest challenge — a teacher, who wants them to focus less on grades and more on experiencing life. Givens’ character, whose last name has changed to Hayward, was a member of the original Individualized Honors Program (IHP) and is now a parent to one of the kids and a lawyer with a degree from Stanford.

Head of the Class CR: HBO Max

In an interview with EW, Givens shared her excitement about reprising her role on the show, “I can’t begin to put it into words,” she said. “It was so much more emotional for me than I could possibly say. It was like a flood of emotions that stuck with me. I grew up on Stage 5. I was younger than my youngest son. Just even talking about it, thinking about it now, it’s just really emotional for me. I didn’t realize that was going to happen. It’s hard to really process. I certainly didn’t think about coming back and being a parent [on the show].”

All ten episodes of the family comedy debut November 4 on HBO Max.

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