tv Our World With Black Enterprise FOX September 15, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PDT
5ñ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> on this edition of "our world with black enterprise." we go with to the movie with axe ward-winning director lee dan combrems "the butler" is getting oscar buzz. we look at what the civil rights movement means today and finally, we profile a ballerina who is dancing her way into the heart of millions. she's our slice of life. that's what's going on on our world up next. >> our world with black enterprise is brought to you by toyota. let's go places.
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> welcome back to "our world with black enterprise." i'm mark lamont hill. lee daniels' "the butler" grossing more than $80 million and while america was preparing for the 50th anniversary for the march on washington, the back story of daniels' film was the civil rights movement of the
1960. >> did you go to an all-colored school. >> i didn't go to school, mr. president. i grew up on a cotton farm. >> don't you lose your temper with that man. it'ses his world, we're just living in it. >> about time you go ahead on your own. >> i'm cecil. i'm your new butler. >> why this movie at this time? >> i didn't do it to make an important civil rights movie. it wasn't about the civil rights movement that i was attracted to. i was attracted to the father and a son love story that was something that we don't see. i don't recall ever seeing in black cinema. >> if i can't sit at any lunch counter i want, but fighting for our rights. >> it wasn't until i was on -- we shot a bus scene on a bridge where countless african-american men were lynched and we were on the bus, the freedom riders'
bus, and i'm on the bus, in the bus with the kids, and i'm yelling, action and from nowhere comes the kkk, the hoods, the swastikas, the crosses, the rattling of the bus, and we're scared, and i go -- cut. and they can't hear me because they were on the outside of the bus, and i go -- i go to the window of the bus and go cut! and i still see these, and then i thought at that moment, i thought that there was nobody to yell cut for those kids that were there. >> wow! >> and that those kids were heros and that this movie wasn't just about a father and a son love story. this was really about our movement and our history. >> you've been in very successful pictures and why was it so difficult to get this film funded? >> i think the studios underestimate the intelligence of the american audience, in particular the african-american
audience. i think that, you know, people didn't think that this was going to be -- didn't think that this was going to be a film that america wanted to see. >> you have an all-star cast in this movie. you have forrest whitaker, you have oprah winfrey. you have terence howard. you have a whole crew of awesome black actors across a range of generations. how did you assemble that kind of cast? >> i think that they were all -- we were so hungry for the material, you know? as african-american artists we don't get a chance to really tell stories about us, you know? how often do we see in a film a family going off to college? your kid going off to college? how often do you see us feeding breakfast and the complications of what it's like between a father and a son, a wife and a husband, what it's like to live as black people. we don't -- we don't really see that. >> are you ever intimidated on
the set when you have such big actors and you have to give direction and you have to get more out of their characters than they're giving? >> that's a good question. we -- not with the rest of the actors because the actors are the act o but oprah hadn't acted in quite a while and she had become oprah since then, so when she got on the set i was intimidated at first, you know? and then we got into the work and then she became vulnerable and fragile and nervous, like a little girl. >> a hero! >> everything you are, and everything you have is because of that butler. >> outside of the movie, what inspires you? what did you get to the point where you want to create a project. i can't articulate it. it's something that's very out of body, and i know that i have to do it. it's like giving birth.
you know, i know when it's time to do it and like with "precious" i knew that -- i knew that it was an important story to tell, and i knew that there would be enormous controversy around it. >> is it tough to get criticism from outside of the community from other people who might look at your film or have a different read on it, or, for example, you made a comment a few days ago about hiv/aids and you were saying that you were at an aids clinic and you saw so many black women there that you thought it was a welfare line and you heard people that say he doesn't like black women. how do you respond to those criticisms? >> i'd say it hurts me deeply and it hurts me to my core because the only people that supported me were women, you know? my mother, my aunties, the women in my community as an openly gay black man it's a very difficult life to lead. >> can you see why some women
might have been offended? >> in hindsight, i can see that, but having grown up on welfare i've walked in there and my knee-jerk reaction was, oh, it was like when i was a kid. i was in the welfare office. >> that was the key right there. this was not some outsider talking from the community. you were speaking from the pain of your own experience. >> yes. it was -- it was -- my movies are my life. my movies are my experience, and so i live in my truth. and so when i walk into an environment it immediately was a flashback to what it was like as a -- as a kid, you know, who had to get his food stamps and his cheese. >> so you get so much internal reward for this. you get so much reward from the love that the community gives you for your films. do you even worry about stuff like oscars? >> no. i'll tell you when i worry about oscars. i worry about oscars -- i worry
about oscars when i'm in the seat and then all of a sudden i go, wait a minute, i'm nominated. oh, lord, what if they don't call my name? the minute that you start doing it for that it's -- you don't do it for that because you can't make good work. you can't speak your truth. you don't work from god. you don't work from your heart and you don't work from your soul. it's a place that is artificial. does that make any sense? >> a lot of people say that, but deep down, they're making scenes and casting actors for a run at that best screen play or best picture or best performance by a leading actor or whatever, you know? you seem genuinely committed to the project and the art. >> i did a movie right before this that made $567,000 supposedly that dealt in -- it's called "the paper boy" and i'm as proud of the paper boy as i am of "the butler," and i am as
proud of a movie called "shadow boxer" as i am of "precious." they're all part of me. they're all my children. once i leave my edit room, i'm proud. it's like having a kid. >> just before i came on the air a cameraman walked up to lee and said i saw the film and it told my story and you hear those words and you hear it from him. what does that do to you? >> i sleep with it and i thank god that that is the reason that i did this movie. i'm doing it for people like that. up next, we go on the record with our panel of leaders, 50 years after the march on washington. ♪ ♪ ♪
>> the civil rightses movement of the 1960s is considered one of the greatest movements in american history. for many of the issues that dr. king marched for are the same issues plaguing us today. has anything really changed? have african-americans become too complacent? is it time to resurrect the movement? >> we will not rest! we will not stop! we will not forget! >> we brought together a panel of leaders, mark morial, president and ceo of the national urban league, dr. jamal bryant, pastor of the empowerment temple and dr. michael eric dyson, sociology professor of georgetown university. are we in the midst of a moment or a movement? >> i hope it's a moment. i hope it will ignite a greater degree of offense of the many injustices of the great nation at this time. whether it's voter i.d., racial
profiling and sometimes unfair police tactics and all across the board. we are up against a right-wing resurgence in this nation and we have to recognize that there's an element there that wants to repeal the 20th century and turn the nation back to the 1890s and we've got a duty and responsibility to educate, inspire and motivate people to push back and resist this yesterday vision of america, and i think we have to replace it with a future vision. >> we understand the genius of the civil rights movement was not just marching in protests and sitting at lunch counters. we want these laws repealed and we want there to be a greater sense of justice in our community and the second step of voter registration is voter education. i sort of get that, but the first two points you talk about are not just about us, but it's about how the government responds to us. how do we create the kind of context where the government will be responsive to our needs.
>> there has not been a time when black people have not asked for something collectively where there has not been an immediate response. we wouldn't have had the voting rights act. we would have never had the tray son martin case would never have seen the light of day. it's old and from the freedom generation. they haven't protested and they haven't marched, but because we lifted up our voices collectively is why it's become an international issue. >> what we need today is more voices. i think we've had too many people stand on the side in the comfort of their own existence, in the comfort of their own consumption, in the comfort of their own lifestyle and not recognized that at this point there is a deliberate effort to try to turn the hands of time backwards and it's our time to say no and articulate a different vision. >> yes. >> when you think about the fact that you've got a digital generation, when you have facebook and you've got twitter and all of the other social
media, it's incredibly important. the problem is on the one hand it's the idealization of what that leaderless generation was about. and john lewis and working with all of those great figures, but the problem is when it comes time to dole out responsibility or to take the charge and to be able to focus because the thing you mentioned before was it was about legislation, you can go to the march and you can march and march and march. unless you change the laws that govern the existence of black people ain't much happening. >> dr. king, whitney young, john lewis, julian bond were all young men when they were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, and i think we need young people not only during that, but keep being pressured and keep being people grounded and being focused on the future and we do need a new resurgence among young people. >> that creates structures of accountability as well and living in this 24-hour news cycle and the stuff that used to
get swept under the rug under previous administrations aren't getting swept under the rug anymore. you have tpn, cnn and other networks and you have to leverage that and then join those young people. that's why i pay so much attention to the hip-hop generation because they've got the men involved and with disastrous consequences on the one hand, but on the other hand at least having an imagination to reach out to these young people. what dr. king refused to do was demonize them. i'm not going to speak out against the war of vietnam unless i speak out against the violence and it's linking them to an international and global perspective of what's critical. >> the critical point of how you opened up is there a moment or a movement and the movement has to have direction. we have to maintain the very essence that justice is indivisible and that when we stand and we speak we don't just stand and speak with a political argument or an economic argument, but there's a moral
argument to what we do. the strength of the civil rights movement in this nation has always been the sense of what we wanted and what we fought for was right. >> before you could march, you had to go through training in nashville. they had to take you through a process, and i think tremendous commendation needs to be given from the old civil rights community to our hip-hop generation for we went 40 days of marching with no arrests, with no looting, in a leaderless motif in inner cities without there ever being an outbreak and people were upset and they were angry. so i have tremendous confidence in the maturity of this generation and the people that get involved in the movement, oh, my god, this happened and i'm upset. no, this is part of the long haul. there were always losses and we tend to remember '64 and '65 and we don't necessarily think of
all of the losses. >> you know we don't think of is a long period of time. i mean, the effort to pass the civil rights act began many, many years, a decade before it actually passed so it takes a lot of time to push change. >> i know we can have two episodes with you all. you're occupying my studio right now. thank you so much for being here. >> stay right there. we'll be back with more "our world with black enterprise." our world with black enterprise is sponsored in part by state farm. find an agent or get a coat at state farm.com.
two ballerinas of color found a dance company that let them be soloists soloists, but company did. she's our slice of life. ♪ ♪ >> i fell in love with ballet the moment i started doing it. >> misty copeland's presence on stage is described as breathtaking. her breakthrough into ballet is spectacular, beginning much later than most through practice at a california boys and girls club. >> starting at age 13 there was so much talk around me, talk of me being a prodigy, talk of me having these abilities. >> now she's making history with every leap as only the third woman of color to be a featured
soloist with renowned american ballet theater. i was just working so hard because it was still so new to me at this age when i became professional. i didn't have the chance to step back and notice and realize that i was by myself. i was the only black woman in the company. >> for the young soloist that created challenges that she had not anticipated. >> i went through a period where i felt really alone and like i had no one i could relate to. >> and she had to come to grips with the idea that some barriers had not yet been broken. >> i would have had a different path if i weren't an african-american ballerina. maybe i would have been a principal dancer by now. maybe it would have been easier for me. i think that it's just made me such a strong woman. >> it's also made her determined to help those who might some day be in her shoes. >> i do know how important it is for me to be in this position
and i see the effect that it had on younger black dancers and that's why i naturally stepped into this position as a mentor. >> just as she's been drawing strength from those who came before her. >> there's something about her artistry and about her commitment and something about her as an artist that is so magnificent. i am so proud of her and every day when i see her perform i'm thinking, yes, you need this example and she is just a prime example for us all. >> i've had incredible women in my life who have kind of helped me to push to that next level and remind me that i do have a special gift and that's not something that i should just give up on because i don't look like everyone else around me. >> i couldn't believe what i was seeing. i knew instantly this was -- this was it. this dancer had that call withity and had that ability and
she's gone the furthest than anyone has gone in our race. >> african-americans have such a rich history within the classical ballet world and i think that's something that a lot of people aren't aware of. it's not like we are just trying to break into this and find a home. we've had a home. >> for this superstar that home was on stage from the moment she found the spotlight and the spotlight found her there was magic. >> i think it took a couple of years to really sink in and understand what an amazing position i was in and how honored i am to be one of the few. it's pushed me to work even harder, though. it's definitely not the end. it's just the beginning. >> we'll be right back. >> promotional consideration provided by --
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