Viola Davis & Julius Tennon Producing Docuseries on Black Dandyism
JuVee Productions, the company owned by Viola Davis and Julius Tennon have just announced their newest project. Through a partnership with 44 Blue Productions (Wahlburgers, Hollywood Medium), the pair are bringing Shantrelle P. Lewis’ book, Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style to life in the form of a documentary series called Dandy Lions.
The dandy style has recently been brought to the mainstream eye through celebrities like Jidenna, Amar’e Stoudemire and Janelle Monae. Lewis published the book in 2017 and it tells the multigenerational tale of Black Dandyism, starting in its political roots of Enlightenment England’s slavery culture and making its ascent into the aesthetic of bright colors and tailored patterns that are recognizable in black cultures all over the globe.
When being asked about the show, Lewis said that the series will include socially relevant conversations around things like gender and police brutality as well as how, “for black men, fashion choices can be a matter of life and death. Today, when race sits at the center of many conversations, Dandy Lions argues how style has, and can be, a tool of resistance, while also asserting that Blackness, despite its often one-dimensional misrepresentation in the media, is not a monolith.”
According to Davis and Tennon, “This project looks at how men dress in the Dandy style across the world and how they influence culture through a powerful positive lens.” Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch, co-founder & president of 44 Blue, will also executive produce along with Tennon, Davis and Lewis. “After reading Ms. Lewis’ book, and discovering its incredibly timely themes, we were inspired to bring these fascinating but little-known stories to television”, Drachkovitch said. “We could not have found better partners in Ms. Davis, her husband and business partner Julius Tennon and JuVee’s Head of Television Andrew Wang.”
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