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Pop Literacy

Nov 2, 2022

Carell Augustus’s brilliant and beautiful photography book Black Hollywood reimagines, and restages, iconic Hollywood moments from the likes of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Singin’ in the Rain, and Mission Impossible with Black entertainers at their center. The work allows Black people to see themselves as part of the fabric of Hollywood history and also inherently questions American entertainment’s shameful history of erasing and sidelining people of color. The photos include Vanessa L. Williams, Dulé Hill, Karamo Brown, and many others.

The work is probably best summed up by this quote from Carell: "Black Hollywood is not just a book for Black people―it's a book for all people about Black people. About the dreams we were never told we could achieve. About the places we were never told we could go. And now, finally, about how we can get there." As for Carell himself: He is a Los Angeles-based photographer whose career has taken him around the world to shoot some of the biggest stars on the planet. His celebrity clients have included Viola Davis, Beverly Johnson, Mariah Carey, Elizabeth Banks, Pierce Bronson, Meghan Markle, Serena Williams, Snoop Dogg, and more. In this episode, we talk with Carell about the significance of writing Black stars into the narrative of Hollywood history.

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