TV One Acquires ‘The Black List’ Documentary

TV One has bought the award-winning, three-part documentary series The Black List from Freemind Ventures. The series tells the story of a group of 50 black American notables who “share candid stories and revealing insights into the struggles, triumphs and joys of the black experience in America.”

The documentaries are a collaboration between portrait photographer and filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, who directs, and award-winning journalist Elvis Mitchell, who conducts the interviews.

The Black List: Volume 1 debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, and all three films originally debuted on HBO. TV One will host the basic cable debut of the three-part series in February 2012 during Black History Month. 

The purchase includes all of the assets and rights relating to The Black List films, including home video distribution, domain names and Internet content, educational materials associated with the project, with the sole exception of The Black List individual portraiture photographs taken by Greenfield-Sanders, although the network is licensed to use the photographs when they are included in the other materials.   

Those included in the series include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sean Combs, Richard Parsons, Colin Powell, Mahlon Duckett, Lou Gossett, Jr., Bill T. Jones, Vernon Jordan, Marc Morial, Toni Morrison, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Chris Rock, John Legend, Al Sharpton, Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice and Faye Wattleton, among many others. 

The Black List is an important work that seeks to redefine the terms black and blacklist for the world,” said TV One President and CEO Wonya Lucas.


In essence a kind of living portraiture, the documentary series was created as part of a project that ultimately included a book of portraits and a traveling museum exhibit. The first exhibit of all 50 portraits has recently opened at a National Portrait Gallery exhibition sponsored by AT&T in Washington, and TV One has provided the museum with access to footage from the documentaries to enhance the exhibition. 

The Black List is produced by Elvis Mitchell, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Michael Slap Sloane, with Christopher McKee, Scott Richman, Payne Brown, Tommy Walker serving as executive producers. 

Launched in January 2004, TV One serves more than 56.3 million households, offering a range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies, and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult black viewers.

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