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    • We are so excited to welcome Len Webb and Vince Williams from the Micheaux Mission Podcast to do a Cake Panel with us today.

      A bit about Len: Len is a dedicated radio / podcast producer heard currently on the FM airwaves of WPPM-LP 106.5FM in Philadelphia & Camden, where his award-winning geek culture show Black Tribbles calls home. 

      A bit about Vincent: Vincent is a life long pop culture fan and scholar.  With his cousin Darryl, he hosts It’s All Soul, a weekly music show focusing on 70’s soul and jazz, 90’s hip-hop and the occasional musical, on internet radio station G-town Radio, where he first met Len.

      And last but not least, a bit about The Micheaux Mission itself
      : 2 Men. 1 Podcast. Every Black Film Ever Made. Len Webb & Vince Williams are on THE MICHEAUX MISSION. On iTunes, Spotify & Stitcher and the Podglomerate Network.

      Welcome Len and Vince!

    • Vince here: I think what really drew us to this topic was, frankly, no one was really critiquing Black film. Generally, the film podcast community tends to be, well, pretty white. There might be a glancing bit on the "big" films like Do The Right Thing but, for the most part, there were no deep dives into the depth and breadth of Black movies. We thought we could do a good job and, almost three years later, here we are.

    • I loved this article about how each of you live and breathe culture, and congratulations on The Micheaux Mission’s success!  The podcast is named after Oscar Micheaux (1884-1951), the most successful African-American filmmaker from the early 20th Century. Reading about Oscar’s story, it’s absolutely incredible: Oscar was an author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films, and even had his own film studio at one point. How did his story inspire you both?

    • Len here - I honestly was introduced to his story via Vince's pick of 'MICHEAUX MISSION' as the name for the podcast. But learning about his fight for creative freedom and Independence have me a better appreciation of those that followed on his wake, like Spike Lee, Maya Angelou and others. That through line made me want to revisit this art and give it it's just due critically and culturally.

      Plus, I hadn't seen most of it. What better way to do it than for a podcast. The discipline of the weekly schedule keeps me honest, on task and diligent.

    • On your show, you discuss a wide variety of Black films - from HOUSE PARTY to I, ROBOT. How you decide what titles to watch, and when? Do you get suggestions from listeners or fans? 

    • Vince: It's a combination. For the most part, Len and I tag team and go back and forth but we do take suggestions from the Missionaries and, a few times a year, we have thematic months like Mother, May I Have Another? when we watch bad films or October which is always supernatural/Halloween themed.

    • Len - I try to pick films from yesterday's yesterday, like the 40s to 60s, when Black Cinema was rare, often from very biased perspectives or dangerous because it was creatives daring to break out. Plus Vince has 70s blinders for Pam Grier and Tamra Dobson.

    • There are a wide variety of genres that you discuss on the show - horror, science fiction, historic drama, action, comedy and so many more - as well as decades. Have you noticed recurring themes that seem to percolate to the top? What’s been the oldest film you’ve done?

    • Vince: Unless, of course, there aren't a lot Black people. Something like Imitation of Life doesn't have many at all. We just watched a version of Othello with only one main character. Actually, that's the most recurring theme of all: What makes a Black film?

    • You’ve done more than 170 episodes, which is incredible - and with the amount of Black Film that’s out there, you have so many more episodes to do. Part of your investigation, of your mission is to scrutinize - what IS a Black film. Can you share more on that constitutes with us?

    • Vince: My short and sweet critieria is-would this film change if the characters weren't Black? If so, I usually default to, this is a Black film. Ironically, this takes a bunch of work by the biggest Black performers like Will Smith or Denzel Washington off the table because they tend to make, "color blind" work.

    • Len - If the lead character or protagonist is another race or ethic upbringing and it fundamentally changes the film, then what you're watching is more than likely a 'Black film'. But in the end, it's all subjective and open to your interpretation. That's why discussing what is or isn't a Black film is a lasting component of the show.

    • I love film discussion podcasts, so I’ve been enjoying the energy you bring to the films you analyze - for example, disagreeing about Philip Glass’ soundtrack in CANDYMAN! How do you define what’s up for discussion?