As a kid, when I first watched Jurassic Park, I was in awe. My imagination ran rapid, and I just knew that one day, I too would see myself on the big screen next to a Tyrannosaurus Rex! The sequels came, and my imagination continued, geeking out every time I watched each movie. Then, superhero television shows and movies began. I use to practice my stances and hand movement, in hopes to be cast in an X-men film. It never occurred to me that the actors who were the leading men in these roles are who I admired. Sadly, it wasn’t until April Regin’s #OscarSoWhite campaign took over Hollywood’s award season in 2015 that I realized, it wasn’t my horrible acting that kept me back from achieving leading role status, it was and will continue to be Hollywood’s standards.
Those behind the hit movies that I loved thought that black men could not be huge box office draws. No matter how many Black-led 90s shows there were from UPN or the WB, achieving leading role status is few and far between. 3 black comedians have also realized Hollywood’s lackluster push in having black leading men. Jerah Milligan, James III, and Jonathan Braylock are the voices behind the hit podcast Black Men Can’t Jump [in Hollywood]. Yes, you read that right. “I came up with the name,” James III explained, “I thought it would be cool to take a name that dealt with race and movies and flip it because that’s what the conversations we’re having are about. I don’t think I thought too heavily about the movie, White Men Can’t Jump, but if you think about that movie and what that title is, you know it’s black people asserting sort of a very cocky thing of what Black people can do and white people can’t do. And so, our film podcast is talking about what white people can do and Black people can’t do. I thought that would be a fun little twist on that.”