Stephen A. Smith's Docuseries 'Black Excellence' To Highlight HBCUs And Prominent Alums
Black Excellence will highlight HBCU alums in every human endeavor from politics to entertainment.
March 24, 2021 at 11:34 pm
Stephen A. Smith is creating a docuseries called Black Excellence that will look at the impact of historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, and some notable alumni of these schools in every human endeavor, from politics to entertainment, per Because Them We Can.
Guests expected to be in attendance include the first woman vice president, Kamala Harris, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, the first Black senator to represent Georgia's state, and many more.
Harris and Warnock attended Howard University in Washington D.C. and Morehouse College in Atlanta, respectfully. Also, they are members of one of the Black Greek-lettered sororities and fraternities. Harris is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, while Warnock is a man of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Oprah Winfrey, representing all the Tennessee State University alumni, and another graduate of Howard, Taraji P. Henson, will appear on the HBCU themed docuseries, too.
Smith, who graduated from Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina, has always advocated for the nation's 101 HBCUs. He teams up with Confluential Films, an LA-based film and TV production company founded by Tommy Oliver, the producer and co-creator of OWN's Black Love, alongside Propagate's Ben Silverman and Howard T. Owen for the project.
According to Propagate's LinkedIn, the entertainment creators develop, produce and distribute programming built upon great stories spanning across all genres, including premium scripted series, long-form, unscripted and formats to broadcast on cable emerging platforms worldwide.
Of the Black college experience and the significance of HBCUs, which are more important now than ever, Smith said he "was distracted by the streets, wondering when I was going to have meals when I was going to have a roof over my head, and when you are preoccupied with those challenges, you are not worried as much about your education."
He continued, saying that these things "led to the system stereotyping and marginalizing you, questioning what you could do and what you could be because your grades and SAT score is the only thing they had to indicate what your potential was. When I went to an HBCU, I was surrounded by people who looked like me, who shared my cultural identity, shared my challenges, my trials and tribulations; I didn't feel alone."
When HBCUs and their critical role in shaping some of the country's best and brightest Black leaders are discussed less, Smith said that we need to talk about these schools more.
"Everywhere you turn - athletics, entertainment, politics, culture, corporate America - there's excellence oozing from the [Black] community, despite the odds," he said. "And more often than not, there's a connection to HBCUs along the way. Yet, somehow, we don't hear enough about it. Quite frankly, that needs to change."
What's more, Smith noted that he is honored to have both of the aforementioned entertainment companies joining him to set the record straight about the amazing things that come out of HBCUs.
"It's about damn time!" Smith said.
Black Excellence is scheduled to premiere in 2022.
Kudos to Smith for using his skills and platform as a major influencer to talk about all things HBCU!