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Subtle Core's New Frontier: Deaf Talent

Deaf Culture need the Queen Sugar treatment, meaning... Complex, layered, portrayals of black deaf life. Mothers, daughters, aunts, brothers, sons, friends, enemies, co-workers-- that and everything in between. TV shows, and films that feature a bulk of the screen time with subtitles, fully immersed in the beauty of ASL.  It's 2020, and at this point, anything is possible. Now is the time to get these stories into development and pre-production. Because...

When's the last time you saw a high quality Hollywood film or TV show that centered on a black deaf character? Specifically material written or directed by deaf filmmakers. Can you name one black deaf cinematographer? This lens, this gateway needs to be open, and widely so. We need to see and feel, and have this reality become a norm, because it is.

Deaf filmmaker, Jade Bryan, is one of the creatives at the forefront advocating for more narratives centered on the Deaf Culture experience on the big screen and television. But she alone cannot lead the charge. In order for Deaf Subtle Core stories to become a reality producers must proactively seek out skilled upcoming deaf talent.

You can check out some previous articles where I talk further in detail about what Subtle Core is here and here.

There are several online streaming networks, and TV channels, that could cultivate, and nourish the careers of aspiring and proven Deaf creatives. OWN is often the go-to for all things Subtle Core on the TV landscape courtesy of Oprah, Ava DuVernay & the ground-breaking amount of women directors who got their TV directorial debuts there- (shout out to So Yong Kim, it was OWN's genius idea to make space for her talent on the small screen. Treeless Mountain is one of my long-time most suggested and beloved indie films). It would be a great addition for an upcoming season of the romantic anthology Cherish The Day to center on a heartfelt journey of a black deaf woman. But OWN can't be the only possible home for Deaf Culture. Black Hollywood (and Hollywood in general) needs to make space for Deaf Talent to rise and flourish.

Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet your #DeafTalent comments to @SubtleCore on Twitter. I'd love to spotlight more Black Deaf Creatives & content.

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