Scripted in Black partners with The Neon to spotlight classic movies in Black community

Participants gather into The Neon for Scripted in Black's first movie night last year in July. PHOTO BY SEAN KOREY

Credit: Sean Korey

Combined ShapeCaption
Participants gather into The Neon for Scripted in Black's first movie night last year in July. PHOTO BY SEAN KOREY

Credit: Sean Korey

Scripted in Black, an exclusive, multidisciplinary arts collective for Black and Brown communities, presents its summer film series beginning this weekend at The Neon in downtown Dayton.

The group is kicking off the lineup with “Love Jones” on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. The 1997 romance stars Nia Long and Larenz Tate.

“I want (Black and Brown communities) to feel like they have hope in our social landscape when it comes to arts and entertainment,” said Dana Graham, founder of Scripted in Black (SIB). “I want them to know we have them first in mind when it comes to curating these experiences to make them feel seen and heard so it can be something entertaining that they can enjoy.”

Combined ShapeCaption
A candid look at the panel conversation at Bosses Who Brew event series between the founder and creative Director Dana Graham and panelists Tobi Ewing, Shon Houston, Zuri Ali-Cole, and Ishmael McKinney.

Credit: Sean Korey

A candid look at the panel conversation at Bosses Who Brew event series between the founder and creative Director Dana Graham and panelists Tobi Ewing, Shon Houston, Zuri Ali-Cole, and Ishmael McKinney.

Credit: Sean Korey

Combined ShapeCaption
A candid look at the panel conversation at Bosses Who Brew event series between the founder and creative Director Dana Graham and panelists Tobi Ewing, Shon Houston, Zuri Ali-Cole, and Ishmael McKinney.

Credit: Sean Korey

Credit: Sean Korey

Graham graduated from Stivers School for the Arts and received her bachelor’s degree in theater studies from Wright State University with a concentration in directing in 2015.

However, she explained it wasn’t until she attended an artistic administration internship in New York that she realized what she wanted her avenue to look like in the theater industry. The internship also provided clarity on what she felt was missing from the industry, primarily the absence of representation and community engagement.

Combined ShapeCaption
Attendees are being led through a movement and meditation offering titled Fierce and Fluid by curator and yogi Tobi Ewing at Scripted in Black's FemmeDomHood event series: A safe space for Black and Brown women to gather, heal and grow.

Credit: Sean Korey

Attendees are being led through a movement and meditation offering titled Fierce and Fluid by curator and yogi Tobi Ewing at Scripted in Black's FemmeDomHood event series: A safe space for Black and Brown women to gather, heal and grow.

Credit: Sean Korey

Combined ShapeCaption
Attendees are being led through a movement and meditation offering titled Fierce and Fluid by curator and yogi Tobi Ewing at Scripted in Black's FemmeDomHood event series: A safe space for Black and Brown women to gather, heal and grow.

Credit: Sean Korey

Credit: Sean Korey

In 2016 Graham returned to Dayton where she eventually began the journey of SIB. The organization officially started in 2018.

ExploreBest of Dayton starts soon! How to get involved in this year’s contest

She seeks to provide entertainment, cultural and arts-based experiences for Blacks outside traditional spaces of theaters or museums.

“I want to bring these creative experiences to them in a way that speaks our language, our culture and our traditions in the way we show up socially in our community,” Graham said.

Combined ShapeCaption
Attendees enjoying Scripted in Black's Culture Set, a yearly opener event to celebrate Black culture, creativity and community.

Credit: Sean Korey

Attendees enjoying Scripted in Black's Culture Set, a yearly opener event to celebrate Black culture, creativity and community.

Credit: Sean Korey

Combined ShapeCaption
Attendees enjoying Scripted in Black's Culture Set, a yearly opener event to celebrate Black culture, creativity and community.

Credit: Sean Korey

Credit: Sean Korey

SIB is geared toward Black millennials, but Graham notes Blacks of all ages have supported the organization. Past events have included Live Lyrics featuring guided conversations about a Black icon as well as a look at the artistry of wine making from a local Black wine shop.

In partnership with The Neon, SIB’s summer film series will continue with 1997′s “B*A*P*S” in August and 1991′s “New Jack City” in September.

Combined ShapeCaption
Scripted in Black's summer film series begins Sunday, July 31 at The Neon. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

Scripted in Black's summer film series begins Sunday, July 31 at The Neon. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

Combined ShapeCaption
Scripted in Black's summer film series begins Sunday, July 31 at The Neon. CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Click here to purchase your ticket for “Love Jones.” Prior to Sunday’s screening there will be a social hour from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. that will include cocktails, spoken word and photography.

Explore‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ arrives with modern spin

If you want to stay updated with SIB’s latest events, follow them on Instagram @scriptedinblack or on Scripted in Black on Facebook.

In the future Graham hopes to see Scripted in Black eventually have a brick-and-mortar space in the Dayton area and expand to other cities in underserved communities.

The Neon is located at 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton. For more information, visit The Neon.

About the Author