Music Mogul and Rapper, Bayer L. Mack, CEO of Block Starz Entertainment, LLC, was in Memphis, TN this past Friday for the premier of his recent production of Oscar Micheaux, Czar of Black Hollywood, a documentary film of the most prolific African American film producer. The Commercial Appeal published a story on the “groundbreaking” event Wednesday of last week.
Michaeux’s work paved the way for producers and movie makers such as Robert Townsend, Spike Lee, Tyler Perry and others including Bayer Mack. His story is a mixture of triumphs, failure, hard work, big dreams, economic survival, romance, business, race relations, civil rights, the movie industry and more.
It is impossible to sit through this documentary without being positively influenced by it a credit to the skill and artful story-telling of Mack. His use of music, photos, story lines and narration transport you into the theater of the early part of this century to see as though you were living the experience in the moment.
The room at the Peabody quickly filled with local and national attendees eager to learn about this missing piece of history through such an important charismatic figure once enshrouded in the dark archives of history awaiting discovering so his “lights, camera and action” story could be shown to even more wider and diverse audiences world-wide never again to be forgotten.
Oscar Micheaux’s life’s work, written and produced by Mack, and narrated by Voice Actor, William Bell, captivated the audiences’ attention, infused humor and elicited a range of emotions by the time the documentary ended.
William Bell is a native Memphian who attended Hamilton High School where his 6th grade teacher made a then unknown “prophetic utterance” that would turn out to be an indication that he would use his voice professionally, though at the time, how wasn’t clear.
Later, Bell narrated and performed voice-overs for his church as a radio-program announcer. He also auditioned and became a co-Anchor for FedEx Customer Service Today and FedEx Overnight TV Broadcasts for 5 years during the 13 years he worked with the Air Logistics Company. His work also included recorded video and audio training programs and live back stage announcer at Corporate meetings. His voice also can be heard on announcements for the National Civil Rights museum in Memphis and a host of other companies and projects.
Early on during the recording of the Oscar Micheaux project, it quickly transformed from being “labor” to an “eager pursuit and anticipation to know what would happen next after almost each segment of the script which took several months to complete. Rev. McCracken and his daughter remained indelibly imprinted in mind due to their humor.
After intently listening to and viewing the documentary, the high note experience of the Premier left everyone positively and demanding more. They asked about the availability of the documentary for the public consumption. Others wanted to know if film would be shown in Memphis again.
Others asked if more work about Micheaux and others were forth coming. Bayer Mack and Executive Producer Frances Presley Rice, already have other projects in the works that promise to be equally as inspiring as that of Oscar Micheaux.
This work is a huge addition to the self-esteem, self-worth, self-development and self-reliance of African Americans and especially for the youth. Moreover, anyone can be inspired by such experiences at that of Oscar Micheaux who’s life and work is the human story common to all. It just so happened that this story was told in black skin. The principles to be learned from it are universal. Bayer Mack, his company and executive producers deserve a standing ovation for this landmark work.
To learn more and to keep up to date on this and future projects from Bayer Mack and Block Starz Entertainment, Follow the Facebook Czar of Black Hollywood page for information on when the documentary will be available for consumer purchase.