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NEEMA BARNETTE

Writer, Producer, Executive Producer of BLACK HISTORY MINI DOCS.

 

Prominent, innovative and prolific, director and producer Neema Barnette has engaged audiences with a body of compelling socially- and politically-charged work that defies the narrow stereotypes of African-Americans usually depicted in entertainment. Working in both television and film, Barnette has earned the respect of peers and critics alike by winning countless accolades. 

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Neema changed the game by becoming the FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN IN TELEVISION TO DIRECT A SITCOM and the FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO RECEIVE A THREE PICTURE DEAL FROM A MAJOR STUDIO in history.  Neema has directed over 50 hours of network television, 10 movies for television and four feature films including CIVIL BRAND and WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED ON THE 7th DAY. 

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Neema Barnette has won many Best Directing awards including a EMMY AWARD and several Emmy Nominations, a Directors Guild of America Award, an NAACP Image Award & 3 Nominations, the Delta Lilly Award, an Adelco Award, a International Monitor Award for THE COSBY SHOW and the PEABODY AWARD.  

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Her feature film “WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED ON THE 7th DAY” received an NAACP IMAGE AWARD nomination for BEST INDEPENDENT FEATURE in 2012  Neema’s feature films have also garnered awards. CIVIL BRAND won the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) HBO Audience Blockbuster Award, the Urban World Film Festival Audience & Best Picture Award and was an official selection of both the Sundance & AFI Film Festivals.  In addition, Neema is the very proud receiptant of The Peabody Award, An Reel Sistas Trailblazer Award and the Sojourner Truth Award at Cannes.   

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Recently, Barnette was chosen by powerhouse film director Ava DuVernay to join the all female directorial team of the OWN hit series Queen Sugar to serve as director/producer of the series during the first season. In her director/producer role, Barnette directed two episodes herself, and helped to mentor other directors as they transitioned from from television to film throughout the entire production.

WHAT IS BHMD?

Legendary Producer and Filmmaker Neema Barnette (Civil Brand, Women thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day) presents Black History Mini Docs. These are a fast and entertaining way to educate young and old about the varying contributions of Blacks in American history. Think of it as the "Cliff Notes" for the digital age. 

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Barnette teams up with her husband Reed R. McCants (Cuttin’ Da Mustard), also an award winning filmmaker. Reed brings his unique style of storytelling to chronicle the many contributions and achievements of the African-American throughout history. 

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The series will feature the stories of Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Madam CJ Walker and Malcolm X along with great living legends like Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis and Harry Belafonte. Contemporary heroes like Tupac Shakur will be included as well as everyday un-sung heroes in the Black community who have devoted their life’s work to upholding the race and giving back.

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Black Mini Docs is designed as a crash course in Black history. It meets the demands of our fast paced digital age by using quick cuts and cinematic savvy. Designed for easy access, the series will be used on smart phones, computers and all media outlets. Black Mini Docs is a commercial for REAL HISTORY.

REED R. McCANTS 

Creator, Producer, Writer, Director, Editor, Narrator of BACK HISTORY MINI DOCS

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Reed, a 30-year veteran of film, television and stage, has always been committed and devoted to preserving and nurturing the Arts in the African-American community.  A product of Harlem in New York City, Reed feels it is essential to give back. Subsequently he has created or co-founded two theatre companies in New York and Los Angeles. Rainbow Connection Theatre (1986 - 1988), Rebirth Drama Company (1989 - 1993) and he was the founder of the Live Theatre Gang (1996 - 2006). During these tenures, he has performed, produced and or directed well over 200 theatre productions.

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He appeared in over 50 television commercials with leads in Xerox, Humira, McDonalds, Budweiser, General Motors and the first Diet Coke commercial for television. As a actor Reed has appeared in Hill Street Blues, A Different World and several films for television included Disney's Justin Case, Run for the Dream: The Gail Deavers Story and Road Raiders costarring opposite Bruce Boxleitner. Reed has also starred in such feature films as "Project X starring Matthew Broderick, Civil Brand which also stars Mos Def and Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day, produced by T.D. Jakes and starring Blair Underwood and Pam Grier.

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Reed’s directorial debut was Cuttin Da Mustard, the award winning comedy self-bio film featuring Brandon T. Jackson (Tropic Thunder), Keshia Knight Pulliam, (The Cosby Show, Madea Goes to Jail), Charles S. Dutton, and Comedian Sinbad. McCants also produced and directed a comedy hit web series spinoff of his feature film, Cuttin Da Mustard, entitled 40 and Leroy. Currently Reed is the creator, producer and editor of Neema Barnette’s presents, Black History Mini Docs. 

AH-KEISHA McCANTS

Writer, Producer, Narrator and Chief Editor for BHMD Blog

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Ah-Keisha is an award-winning playwright/songwriter, stage director, filmmaker, media-maker and creative arts educator. She is passionate about literacy as an intersectional and multicultural phenomenon influenced by an increasingly digital world in complicated ways. At 19 years-old, she made her NYC Off-Off Broadway debut through her interactive poetic play, Cafe Millennium. The play tackled the emergence of digital technology by highlighting the complexities of human relationships, within and outside of the individual while in community. 

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Ah-Keisha is a professor for the City University of New York's (CUNY) School of Professional Studies, Masters in Applied Theatre program. Ah-Keisha's writing has been published in Linden Avenue Literary Journal, Specter Magazine, and For Harriet. As a Theatre, Media Arts and Literacy educator, she's led workshops for students across many demographics including K-12, college, non-profit organizations, and mental health and rehabilitation centers. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and an M.S.Ed in Reading, Writing and Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania.

“Cut and print that sucker”, is the saying that Neema Barnette always yells out after a “shot” or “film take” that she is pleased with on her film shoots. Once again Neema is putting her coined phrase in action with Mara Brock Akil’s OWN series Love Is.

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BHMD MICRO DOCS are a even faster way to get historical facts about some of the greatest heroes to have ever walked on this earth

BHMD MICRO DOCS - DAISY BATES

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates (November 11, 1914 – November 4, 1999) was an American civil rights activist, publisher, journalist, and lecturer who played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.

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