'Black Folk Don't' Make Web Series?
The Root chats with Angela Tucker, creator of a satirical show about the diversity of black interests.
AT: One of the things I love about the series being on the Web is that people can share things and give it whatever context they want to give. For example, some people share it in a positive way, [as in] this is a funny, interesting idea. Other people are like, this is crazy. Other people use it to create a dialogue.
AfroPunk just put up the episode called "Black People Don't Tip," literally to discuss the topic. For things that are provocative and need some context, the Web is great for that. I feel like there's not a lot of room for that on television. Television documentaries are either complete entertainment (reality shows) or documentaries that are not done in this style, and often context is lacking. The Web allows users to offer some context.
TR: What's new in season 2 of Black Folk Don't?
AT: This season is going to be 16 topics. We travel to New Orleans this time because we wanted to talk to different kinds of black people. With the first season, I filmed them all in New York, so you're definitely getting a very specific kind of black person in New York. I was interested in talking to people from different regions in the U.S.
It is very, very different. I got a lot of answers that I didn't expect. For example, New Orleans is a very Catholic city, so it's very religious, but it's a different kind of religion. Catholicism plays a big part in that city, and people discuss God in a very different way. In New York, no one really discusses God. I mean, they have their own relationship with God, but in New York, discussing God is not cool, in a weird sort of way.
Melissa Harris-Perry and Touré are in it this time, and everybody else is regular folk. I don't feel like anyone is more of an expert on being black; everyone just has [his or] her own experience of being black. The first topic is "Black Folk Don't Swim." This season is also viewer-selected, based on topics of interest that viewers voted on. It's definitely different from last season.
TR: You're also the series producer for the PBS documentary series AfroPoP. What's next for Angela Tucker?
AT: I'm co-producing a new documentary called The New Black with Yvonne Welbon [that] Yoruba Richen is directing for Promised Land Film. The film, which should be out in 2013, is about the black church and the LGBT community. I'm also working on a fiction script.
Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., is editor-at-large for The Root. Follow her on Twitter.