Using crowdsourcing to develop an annual list of Hollywood’s hottest unproduced screenplays, Harvard graduate Franklin Leonard took the negative term “black list” and turned it into a coveted place to be. Three films that once appeared on his Black List are nominated for a Best Picture Oscar this year. Professor Henry McGee, former president of HBO Home Entertainment, explores a fascinating case about navigating the Hollywood film industry, reclaiming blackness as a positive, and taking success to the next level.
Growing up in the heart of the Confederacy, Maggie Lena Walker started work as a laundress at age nine. At the urging of her mother and mentors, she turned to education, and used it to propel her life forward—graduating high school at 16, working as a teacher, and learning accounting. Those experiences, coupled with her strong work ethic, culminated in Walker rising to lead the Independent of Order of St. Luke and found several other businesses, all of which created jobs and opportunities for many women and blacks where there had been none before. Professor Tony Mayo discusses Walker’s remarkable legacy of firsts, and the courage and strength it took for her to forge a path forward for herself and those she served.