Actress Angela Bassett and her husband Courtney Vance are stopping to fight censorship.
In an op-ed that she wrote for Entertainment Weekly, the Black Panther actress highlights the importance of telling Black stories, especially in the current climate with a growing number of schools banishing the telling of those stories from their curriculum.
“As parents of 16-year-old twins who will soon be off to college, my husband, Courtney, and I feel it’s critical that our children make their way in this world with a full understanding and knowledge about the country in which they live,” she wrote. “This is occurring as we share factual details with them about Black hardship, pain, and tragedy, but also truths that illustrate our determination, accomplishment, and triumph.”
Bassett and Vance have made it their mission to “[pay] homage to the influence of our ancestors, and recognizing important and often not-well-known history with roots in the Black community” through their production company Bassett Vance Productions, which they started two years ago.
Through their production company, they produced One Thousand Years of Slavery which is a four-part documentary that “chronicles our history through the lens of civilizations around the globe” while Black actors and personalities contribute to the conversation by providing their personal connection to slavery.
The power couple is currently looking into creating the first scripted series about Tulsa’s Greenwood district, also known as Black Wall Street, leading up to the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.
“We have a responsibility to create works with timeless content that inform and entertain, and to act as mentors to the next generation of writers, directors, and actors who will continue to preserve our culture,” Bassett wrote adding, “Courtney, our team, and I adhere to a simple mantra: acknowledging and honoring our past paves the road to the future.