Before the Ryan Coogers and Ava DuVernays there were two young comedians who decided to challenge the system and create film and television about and by us.

After moving out to LA together to pursue acting in the 80s, Chicago native Robert Townsend and Harlems Keenan Ivory Wayans quickly grew tired of the same old stereotypical roles that were available for Black actors and pooled their resources together raising $100K and created the cult classic “Hollywood Shuffle” The movie grossed over $5M!

Now if you don’t know bout Hollywood shuffle you need to do your history! But did you know they also wrote, produced and directed “Eddie Murphy’s RAW” and “The Five Heartbeats”?

Townsend went in to create his own sitcom “The Parent Hood” which ran for 5 seasons, “Holiday Heart” and “B.A.P.$” Keenan of course is widely known for “In Living Color” “I’m gonna get you sucka!” And “Scary Movie”

Give props to the unsung pioneers that paved the way!


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