Afro-Latinx filmmaker Shaka King has made an incredible mark as director of Judas and the Black Messiah, creating a name for himself and sharing an important story of William O'Neal’s infiltration of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton. Read more about his success, Afro-Latinx visibility in the media industry, and the importance of representation.
Afro- Latinx Creators Making a Mark in Hollywood
Director Shaka King left, and Daniel Kaluuya on the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘Judas and the BlackMessiah.’(Glen Wilson / Warner Bros.)
By Diana Casillas
In celebration of Afro Latinx, Shaka King has made an incredible mark as director of Judas and the Black Messiah, creating a name for himself and sharing the important story of William O'Neal’s infiltration of the Black Panther Party to gather intelligence on Chairman Fred Hampton. Shaka King, raised in Brooklyn, New York. His mother is the descendent of Barbados and Panama, while his father is from Panama. It’s important to acknowledge his Afro-Latino background because many creatives get put in a box on who they represent based on their ethnic background. Being Black and Latinx are not mutually exclusive as Latinx people come in many different races, shapes, and colors. Currently, Shaka King is celebrated as a Black creative. It’s essential to inform that he also has a Latino background, making him an Afro Latino creative. Acknowledgment from the Latino community and media on Afro-Latinx industry professionals will benefit the fight to increase the visibility of these diverse voices within the community. Breaking barriers by forming robust platforms for Afro-Latinx artists will increase Afro-Latinx creatives’ opportunities in the entertainment industry.
Here at NALIP, we value showing all the different backgrounds a creative has to offer. Representing all sides of a person allows them to share their life story and connect with others. It’s important to include diversity in the media industry because there are many different aspects of the diversity one might have aside from their ethnic background. Working with Afro Latinx creators such as Danielle Perez, a stand-up comedian, writer, and actress, Perez has given us the privilege to share her experience working in the industry while having a disability. No matter the case, Perez has proven how important representation is when breaking down barriers in entertainment. “When we show up and that there is an abundance of us. It allows all the excuses that we constantly hear that “We just couldn’t find anyone” to not be valid anymore” - Danielle Perez.
LaKeith Stanfield left, Director Shaka King center and Jesse Plemons on the set of Warner Bros Pictures’
‘Judas and the Black Messiah.’(Glen Wilson / Warner Bros.)
Judas and the Black Messiah is nominated for five Academy Awards, making it King's first film nominated by the Academy. Shaka King has made his mark in Hollywood, breaking down barriers for fellow Afro Latinx creators who don’t see enough representation in Hollywood. NALIP encourages Latinx creators to take on forefront positions in front of the camera or behind the scenes. Here at NALIP, we support our community while creating a change in the media’s culture.