Google+

And the Winner Is… Gil!

 

Gil Robertson

The “African American Film Critics Association Awards” Interview

with Kam Williams

And the Winner Is… Gil!

Gil L. Robertson IV is one of America’s foremost authorities on African-American pop culture. As a journalist, author, lecturer and media consultant, he is responsible for literary works and intellectual properties that provide platforms for social change and personal growth.

Gil Robertson, The “African American Film Critics Association Awards” Interview, with Kam Williams, authority on African-American pop cultureGil is the editor of the bestselling anthologies Family Affair: What it Means to be African American Today, and the 2006 release, Not in My Family: AIDS in the African American Community, both nominated for NAACP Image Awards in the Outstanding Non-Fiction category.

He is also the author of “Writing as a Tool of Empowerment,” a resource book for aspiring journalists, and “Where Did Our Love Go: Essays on Love & Relationships in the African American Community.” And Just Us Books is set to release his first children’s book, “Great African American Political Leaders.”

On television, Gil has shared his expertise on topical issues on numerous networks,

Gil Robertson, The “African American Film Critics Association Awards” Interview, with Kam Williams, authority on African-American pop culture

Gil Robertson

including CNN, HLN, MSNBC, E Entertainment, National Public Radio and the Tavis Smiley Show. In addition, as a popular lecturer on the national circuit, he addresses issues that impact professional growth strategies and personal development.

Gil is a co-founder and President of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), as well as the founder of the Robertson Treatment’s Media Workshop, an annual journalism initiative presented at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, Georgia and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City.

A graduate of Cal State Los Angeles, Gil is the founder and editor of the nationally syndicated Arts & Lifestyle column, the Robertson Treatment which appears in 30 newspapers across the country boasting a readership in excess of 2 million. He is a professional member of the National Press Club, The National Association of Black Journalists, The National Academy of Recording Arts & Science, The National Academy of Television Arts and Science and The Motion Picture Academy.

Here, Gil talks about the 7th Annual African American Film Critics Association Awards ceremony which will be held at 8 pm on Wednesday, February 10th at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.

Kam Williams: Hi Gil, thanks for the interview.

Gil Robertson: Thank you the opportunity, my AAFCA brother!

KW: Congratulations on the AAFCA Awards which has grown in stature in recent years.

GR: Thanks, Kam. Yes, this is our 7th year and, although we’re experiencing a little itch, it’s all good. We’re celebrating Straight Outta Compton and Ryan Coogler from Creed, as well as Teyonah Parris from Chi-Raq. Our Special Achievement honors are going to the terrifically talented John Singleton and Reginald Hudlin, as well as business phenoms Jeff Clanagan and Maverick Carter. It’s truly a special night!

KW: Is it safe to assume this year’s ceremony will be better attended than ever, given the number of stars calling for a boycott of the Oscars after the Academy failed to nominate any black actors or actresses for the second year in a row.

GR: Our show has always attracted an amazing array of executives and creatives from the film and TV community, as well as an impressive list of celebrity talent. We look forward to giving them a high-quality event.

KW: Isn’t it very revealing that Sly Stallone was nominated in the Supporting Actor category for Creed, but its African-American star, Michael B. Jordan, and director, Ryan Coogler, were both snubbed? And the only nomination garnered by Straight Outta Compton, which featured a black cast and director, was for its script which was written by four whites.

GR: Now let’s have real talk! While the Academy doesn’t blatantly promote itself as an organization for whites only, it’s hard to see the Oscar as an award for all. That’s the big elephant in the room. You call yourself the Academy Awards and you say your awards are based solely on merit without consideration to race or gender but, historically, all the awards are going to white people except for a few exceptions when a black performance was just so elevated that it couldn’t be ignored, like a few years ago when Lupita Nyong’o won for 12 Years a Slave.

KW: How long do you think it’ll take for the Oscars to be more inclusive? Its President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is African-American, recently announced plans to double the number of minority voters by 2020. But if blacks are about 4% now, that’s just a 1% increase per year. Would that likely alter the outcome?

GR: Ms. Isaacs is putting the work in, and I’m very confident that the seeds she plants will grow. Change takes time and, as Hollywood mirrors larger American society, this process will too.

KW: Besides offering an alternative to the the Oscars, why should people attend the AAFCA Awards?

GR: The AAFCA Awards are necessary because they offer us an opportunity to celebrate ourselves. The Oscars are never going to give us the due that we feel we deserve and that’s okay. As a community, we must move past that and instead support the institutions that do. Black people, your support is necessary and you cannot sit out this party, if you’re serious about wanting to see some real change.

KW: Who are some of the luminaries you hope will attend?

GR: The room will be filled with luminaries, but we are really thrilled to welcome the cast of Straight Outta Compton, Ryan Coogler from Creed, Kenya Barris, the creator of Black-ish, the incredibly-lovely Teyonah Parris, plus an impressive lineup of hot young faces who represent the next wave of talent in Hollywood.

KW: I know that AAFCA operates year-round, not just during awards season. What sort of programs do you have planned for 2016?

GR: We are especially excited to see an expansion of our Student Boot Camps to three more campuses across America. By the year’s end, AAFCA’s Boot Camp will literally extend to the four corners of America. The AAFCA Seal of Approval program continues to expand. Our seal will appear on releases from Array, Codeblack, Swirl and other studios this year. For 2016, AAFCA is going to especially ramp up our film festival partnerships. I can’t announce details yet, but look for us to create some significant and very strategic inroads with various films festivals throughout American and aboard. Over the summer, we’ll be back with Synergy in Atlanta with a special honoree to be announced shortly. And before the year is done, I am hopeful to announce a broadcast partner for 2017. We definitely have a big year in store. Please visit our website [www.AAFCA.com]    and hook up with us via social media to remain connected.

KW: Thanks again for the time, Gil, and best of luck with AAFCA.

GR: Thanks, Kam.

Entertainment

Is Donald Trump Afraid of the Dark?

  Is Donald Trump Afraid of the Dark? GREG PALAST’S “THE BEST DEMOCRACY MONEY CAN BUY: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits”    WHO:  Greg Palast, Rolling Stone/BBC investigative reporter films a real, live detective thriller about the upcoming theft of the 2016 election and the hunt for billionaires behind it.   With Shailene Woodley, Willie Nelson, Rosario Dawson, Ed Asner and Robert F. Kennedy with "detectives" Ice-T and Richard Belzer  … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

The “City of Angels” is a Fact for Our Wild Friends

  The “City of Angels” is a Fact for Our Wild Friends by Amy Lignor   It’s called the City of Angels. The title makes some laugh out loud when they think of the violence, driving, and other negatives that are focused upon by the media when speaking about Los Angeles. But a new book has just hit the market that opens up all new doors, proving that where both Los Angeles and the entirety of California are concerned, those angels actually do exist. Author Beth … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount of money people would send to own or create the “best of the best.” Even though some things were referred to as the “gaudiest of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Rappin’ with “The Dude”

    Jeff Bridges The “Hell or High Water” Interview with Kam Williams Rappin' with "The Dude" One of Hollywood’s most successful actors and a six-time Academy Award-nominee, Jeff Bridges performance in Crazy Heart as Bad Blake, the down-on-his-luck, alcoholic country music singer at the center of the drama, deservedly garnered the iconic performer an Oscar in the Best Lead Actor category. The performance also earned him a  Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Crossbows the perfect fit for youth hunters

    Crossbows the perfect fit for youth hunters By Craig Lamb   Many states require a minimum draw weight of between 35 and 40 pounds for the purposes of archery hunting for whitetail deer and wild turkey. That keeps many enthusiastic youth hunters out of the woods until they can gain enough strength to meet the rule.   Or does it?   “The crossbow allows kids the opportunity to hunt at a much earlier age,” says Jake Miller, an avid archery … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Get Ready for Football!

  Get Ready for Football! by Amy Lignor   There is a time every year where suddenly the sports news gets far more interesting. No. I’m not talking about the Olympics. Thus far the only thing anyone wants to hear about where Rio is concerned is a virus. What I speak of is that familiar smell of pigskin wafting in the air. The time when the (no offense) more boring sports exit the headlines to make way for the one sport that boasts more avid, loud, and loyal … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands

  Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands by Amy Lignor   This is 2016. This is an election year. “Shark Tank” is a top show on television. And more than ever people want to be entrepreneurs; be in business for themselves and make some money. But even after all this time in the computer-age, entrepreneurs are finding it difficult to see the ‘niches’ they can get into to build their brand so that all consumers know who they are and why their … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Visit the Most Beautiful Nature Locales in the Country

  Visit the Most Beautiful Nature Locales in the Country by Amy Lignor   Wildlife habitat gardens are being created in a variety of locations, in a variety of sizes. There are even those that are funded by some large names and organizations, who are calling out to tourists across the globe to come visit and see what great things are being done to sustain and increase the wildlife community.   These are places that the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+