chatting with ‘black folk don’t’ web series creator angela tucker

January 15, 2014

Black Folk Don’t is now in its third season. The provocative web series was created by Angela Tucker, a Brooklyn-based writer, director and producer. She has a knack for putting critical questions on display in a way that’s riotous. The third season takes a look at feminism, adoption, going green, plastic surgery and more. This season is shot in California. “I was interested in California, because the black population is in minority in Cali. The kinds of responses we got in one part of the city were much more different than the next part of the city,” Tucker said.

By Priscilla Ward, AFROPUNK Contributor

The series takes an integrated look at stereotypes in the black community and how they impact identity politics. “I have always been an activist in some sort of way. I have always worked on various social issues in some sort of way,” Tucker said.

Afropunk spoke with Tucker about the significance of this series in the age of President Obama. The series all started 3 years ago when Tucker, begin to take an introspective look at her own life. “I tend to do things that black folk don’t do,” Tucker said. The series was started with the sponsorship of Black Public Media. It evolved from an email chain with some of Tucker’s friends to a stereotypical listing of things black people ‘do’ and ‘don’t do.’

“I think there are a lot of people who believe we are living in a post racial society, that ‘race’ conversations are less important. I wanted to create a dialogue that was provocative, yet had a sense of humor. Conversations about race, feel so heavy and loaded and it lightens that up a little bit,” Tucker said.

The questions posed are simple yet complex, probing some of the most insightful cross cultural responses we’ve heard yet. These questions somehow uniquely unite our black experiences and the differences in viewpoints that make our narratives self-assertive. Before going out and producing this collection of thought provoking content, Tucker conducts research for a month or so; culling through various articles and talking to different people. Interviews are composed of a collection of man on the street responses and people already informed on the topic. Tucker is not shying away from addressing her audience with humor.

“I wasn’t afraid of addressing my audience with humor, because whenever I did interviews with people, it made me believe that there was an audience who would actually get it. I never feel nervous about it. All I ever wanted to do was create a dialogue,” Tucker said.

The series is getting various responses from the critics. “There are people who don’t want to watch the show at all. They don’t watch it because they think it is perpetuating stereotypes. Then there are people who certain topics strike a cord with them in a particular way,” Tucker said.

Beyond the web series Tucker is also responsible for THE NEW BLACK, a feature length documentary currently in production about the complicated histories of the African American and LGBT civil rights movements. The film will come out in movie theaters this February. The film was honored with the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access. Tucker is also the series producer for the PBS documentary series, AFROPOP. She was the Director of Production at Big Mouth Films, a social issue documentary production company that is a project of Arts Engine, Inc. There, she produced several award winning documentaries including PUSHING THE ELEPHANT (PBS’ Independent Lens) about a Congolese mother and daughter separated over twelve years.

Tucker’s work in media thus far has given her a platform to address various issues through a transformative lens.

More videos HERE.