Directed by: Alonge Hawes, Jairus Burks
Written by: Alonge Hawes
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Black on Both Sides
A politically racial web series created primarily for a black audience is what we have here. Within society today is it any wonder? Black on Both Sides introduces us to the whiteness of the American business dream; as if we needed any introduction right? In this title, white-washed Anansi Moor gets promoted to the upper management of Legacy Wireless. I'm pretty sure it's stated that he is the first to receive such an honor. As if the hard work and skill involved were secondary in nature. The honor of being black and in upper management must be some kind of something. Hard work it seems doesn't matter at all. A feeling I have no doubt that is mirrored in the real world.
And this theme is kind of the back bone of this series. The racist nature of white people and the fact they don't see it as such. The promotion of a black man to satisfy an image of racial diversity. Could you imagine black people being promoted simply because they've earned it? If that was done, heaven forbid, but companies might actually really be diverse! I may even go so far as to say that the upper management of companies could have more black people than white. Or even go so far as to write that black people, Asian people and even Egyptians would together, dominate the upper management levels. Why? Because black, white or Asian, a smart hard working person is just that. A smart hard working person. Black on Both Sides focuses on African Americans, but it's not all that far removed from the main message.
Alonge Hawes series isn't "just" about race. Anansi Moor is hiding something from his watchers. A dark secret that slowly reveals itself. His past life is definitely not the assimilated black guy living in a white man's world we at first think. There is a lot more going on behind the scenes. By the time episode 4 is finished, we have a good idea of the what. Just not the exact why. Anansi is what they call a code switcher. A man who can convert himself to play almost any role given to him.
Black on Both Sides involves numerous sub-plots that connect, or I assume will connect soon. Topics ranging from illness right on through to ambition and capital gathering. We also see recurring themes of culture, friendship and parenting. A scene involving a parent being told her son needs medication is a powerful one. Also throw into the mix the obvious gangster roles, involving Anansi's past life and you got some real potential for a great series. Much better than your standard YouTube video.
But the production itself is not perfect. Very uneven audio, (That does seem to improve as the show goes on) and some occasional stuttering, dropped frame rates, during some of the scenes. Generally speaking though the show looks and sounds pretty good. The acting feels real and to the point. As a micro budget web series, Black on Both Sides actually plays itself quite well. There's no problem following the path that Hawes and Burks lay out.
I hope the show continues and that the 4 episodes I've seen won't be the last. There's nothing wrong with pointing out racial issues because that's the only way they'll ever be addressed. I am very curious to see where this all goes. To find out exactly what has taken place in the past, and why things are the way they are now. I'll definitely keep my eyes on this show as the episodes are released. Thumbs up.