Big News: Nate Parker Takes a Huge Step in Tackling Hollywood's Diversity Problem

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 06:  Director Nate Parker speaks onstage at the 68th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on February 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA)

Big News: Nate Parker Takes a Huge Step in Tackling Hollywood's Diversity Problem

Read how the Birth of a Nation director is giving young filmmakers a chance.

Published March 21, 2016

Think you could be the next Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay or Ryan Coogler? Well, Nate Parker wants to give you a chance to shine. The actor, writer and director — whose name will be among those other celebrated directors once his drama Birth of a Nation comes out later this year — is opening a film and drama school at Wiley College in East Texas, a Historically Black College.

The school has a specific aim, according to Parker: get more Black voices in Hollywood. “You control the moving picture, you control the masses. So really getting them rallied around the idea of re-claiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color,” Parker said in a statement. 

Classes for the Nate Parker School of Film and Drama will begin in the fall, but a pilot program for 30 high school and college students will take place over nine days this summer. Parker's connection to Wiley College is deep — he was chosen to sit on the Board of Trustees and even used members of the school choir for the soundtrack of Birth of a Nation.

As those who kept tabs on this year's Sundance Film Festival, where Birth of a Nation was the big winner, already know, Parker is about to blow up once his film about Nat Turner hits theaters in time for awards season. 

Catch up on the early Oscar buzz surrounding the film with BET Breaks: is your No. 1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music. 

Written by Evelyn Diaz

(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA)


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