African-American Screenwriters Now
Conversations with Hollywood's Black Pack Erich Leon Harris


273 Pages
6x9 Paper
B&W Photos
Silman-James Press

Hollywood is currently seeing a great influx of young African-American filmmakers who collectively are altering the face of American filmmaking. African-American Screenwriters Now brings together interviews with both up-and-coming and established screenwriters, some of whom also work as directors and producers, and paints a vivid picture of the opportunities and obstacles that face today’s black filmmakers in Hollywood. These writers discuss their influences, their goals, the birth of stories, the writing process, getting work, and getting films made, alongside their comments on racial barriers and the portrayal of blacks in film.

Among the interviewees are Robert Townsend (Hollywood Shuffle, The Five Heartbeats,Meteor Man), Charles Burnett (To Sleep with Anger, The Glass Shield), Rusty Cundieff (Tales from the ‘Hood, Fear of a Black Hat, House Party 2), Eric Daniel (Brushback), Michael Dinwiddie (Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper), Carl Franklin (Devil in a Blue Dress, One False Move), Julie Dash (Daughters of the Dust), Dwayne Johnson-Cochran (My Tribe Is Lost), Yvette Lee-Bowser (Living Single, A Different World), Tim Reid (Frank’s Place, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored), Carol Munday Lawrence (Chairman of the Writers Guild’s Committee of Black Writers), and Jeanne Williams (Literary Agent at ICM).

About Erich Leon Harris

Erich Leon Harris (1964-2000) was an actor and screenwriter.

“Fascinating words of wisdom and practical, day-to-day advice from a broad range of talented and ground-breaking writers.  Indispensable for emerging and professional screenwriters
of any race.”
—Trey Ellis, screenwriter, Tuskegee Airmen, Cosmic Slop

“A must-read for every aspiring filmmaker and screenwriter, regardless of their ethnicity…among the most insightful and rewarding explorations into the creative process of screenwriting I have ever read.” —William Froug, author, Tricks of the Trade, The New Screenwriter Looks at the New Screenwriter “… a great book, creatively stimulating, a must-read for all African-American screenwriters. It will open up your mind’s eye and release that procrastinating blues.”
—Sy Richardson, screenwriter, Posse

“Unlike dry, didactic prose, this book offers unique insights via its up-close and personal ‘how-to’ interviews. By illuminating the paths to their successes, these artists give us inspiration and hope for our particular writing endeavors.”
—Don Cheadle, actor/writer/director, winner of Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Award for his acting in Devil in a Blue Dress

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