Celebrating Black Films of 1991
For Black films, 1991 was big year. There are a number of all Black films that left memorable impressions on us as well inspired a generation to act. Twenty years later, it’s without a doubt these films left a cultural footprint bigger than anyone expected. If it wasn’t tackling issues of racism or urban drug trade, the films released in 1991 made brave choices to examine interracial relationships or the detriments of revenge. None of these films would have been possible without the talents of our favorite Black actors and actresses. Today, we’re taking a walk down memory lane to remember the films of 1991 and find out where everyone is now.
New Jack City
Released: March 8, 1991 ‘New Jack City,’ was based on the original story and screenplay written by Thomas Lee Wright, and became the prototype for a Black crime drama. It showed crime lord, Nino Brown’s rise to power in New York City during the crack epidemic. A year after it’s national release, it became the highest grossing independent film totaling $47,624,253 domestically.
Without Snipes as Nino Brown there would have been no New Jack City. Sadly Snipes is currently serving a three year bid in a Pennsylvania federal prison on three misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file income taxes.
Mario Van Peebles
Following the same footsteps as his father Melvin, Mario Van Peebles most recently directed the inspirational drama ‘Things Fall Apart,’ starring Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson-set to release later this year.
Vanessa L. Williams
Often confused with ex pageant winner Vanessa A. Willims,Vanessa L. Williams has kept herself busy touring the country on a one woman show “Feet on the Ceiling,” where she shares stories of sexual revelations and the pursuit of love.
A Rage in Harlem
Released: May 3, 1991 A beautiful black gangster’s moll flees to Harlem with a trunk load of gold after a shootout, unaware that the rest of the gang, and a few other unsavoury characters are on her trail. The film premiered in competition at the 44th Cannes Film Festival in Grand Palais, receiving a "five-minute standing ovation.”
Givens, Mike Tyson ex-wife, started on the 80’s hit series ‘Head of the Class,’ and earlier this year the 46-year-old actress was last seen on a episode of’Chuck,’ and is working on television movie called ‘Tagged.’
May Gregory Hines forever rest in peace. The world renowned dancer and choreographer was taken away from us in 2003.
Danny Glover never stops working. One of the most recognized African American actors in Hollywood he has six films in post-production for 2011, and stays very active in domestic and international politics.
Released: July 7, 2011 ‘Jungle Fever’ is film about a scandalous love affair between a married black architect with his Italian secretary. The Spike Lee film opened the discussion about is interracial love motivated by real love or by media-based myths about the sexual allure of the other race.
Webb, the very beautiful writer, journalist, model, andtv personality, has had a very illustrious career since the film was released. She was last seen co-hosting “Tim Gunn Guide to Style,” on Bravo in 2008.
Actress Lonette McKee currently teaches a master acting workshop at Centenary College of New Jersey, where she serves as an adjunct professor in the Theater Arts department. Her last tv appearance wason our favorite sitcome ‘The Game’ as Jason Pitts mother.
Everyone knows you can catch Lee at any and every Knicks basketball game, but his production company 40 Acres and A Mule currently has five films in post production to be completed in 2011 and 2012.
Boyz n the Hood
Released: July 12, 1991 ‘Boyz n the Hood,’ is a coming of age tale, that became a sad saga of group of childhood friends growing up in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles. Roger and Ebert calls this film one of the “best American films,” in recent years.
The last time we saw Ricky Baker aka Morris Chestnut was in 2009’s “Not Easily Broken.” It’s been a while, and we can’t wait for this eye candy to make his return to the big screen.
Ice Cube is the modern day renaissance man. In 2010 he released his ninth album, ‘I Am West,’ became the executive producer for the TBS television series, ” Are We There Yet,” and had a guest starring role in the film ‘Lottery Ticket.’
Cuba Gooding Jr
Cuba Gooding Jr Cuba lucks up and gets some really awesome roles. 2011 will be no different for the 43-year old as he gears up for three possible films this year alone.
Released: October 4, 1991 ‘Ricochet’ is an on-the-edge-of-your-seat crime thriller that shows what can happen when a lawyer is terrorized by the criminal he put away years ago when he was a cop. The film shows the rapid social and professional rise and fall of an individual based on chance and circumstance and was received nothing but positive reviews.
One of Hollywood’s most talented leading men, the handsome Washington can do no wrong. He’s currently shooting the film ‘Safe House,’ set to release in 2012, and continues to break barriers for the type of roles given to Blacks.
Born Tracy Marrow, Ice-T still makes his reoccurring cameos on’Law and Order: Special Victims’ Unit ironically playing a cop. Ice-T most current project however, is his new alcohol linecalled OG (orginal gangsta) brandy that he launched late last year.
In addition to his role in ‘Ricochet,’ John Amos is best known as the father on the classic black television show, ‘Good Times.’ In February Amos participated in performing the one man show ‘Halley’s Comet,’ as a part of charity incentive for Cincinnati Black Theatre Company’s Celebrity Series.
Released: November 8, 1991 Sharp social satire in which the uneven friendship between an ambitious black businessman and his streetwise pal is thrown into still more confusion trying to get the attention and affection of beautiful waitress. Reception for the film wasn’t really the best, and the plot was even said to be “slightly depressing.”
Joseph C. Phillips
Best known for his role as Martin Kendall on the long-running sitcom The Cosby Show, Phillips is now known to be a conservative Republican, television and radio commentator, and a weekly syndicated column writer that promotes conservative views that attempt to return to America’s founding principles.
Anne Marie Johnson
Who would of thought the cute petite Anne Marie Johnson who had her real start on the 80s hit series, ‘What’s Happeing Now,’ would end up being former First Vice-President of the Screen Actor’s Guild which she stepped down from in 2010.
In her latest venture, Kim Coles brings comedy and inspiration to empower others with her unique program called Open the G.I.F.T.S. The organization inspires others to discover their own true “gifts” so that they may share them with the world.