“Jumping the Broom,” a new family comedy featuring an all-black cast, will be hitting theaters on May 6 – and don’t expect another screaming tear fest of angry women. Helmed by African-American director Salim Akil, “Jumping the Broom,” promises to feature black women in a positive light – a rare thing in Hollywood today. Akil was quoted in the San Francisco Examiner about this coming feature, saying: “I was determined to make a movie — about families and a love story — that black women would be proud to see and which would depict them as being smart, loving, sensitive, sexy and funny.” Finally, “Jumping the Broom” is here with a different angle on our lives, sketched with the quality of nuanced fun.

A veteran television writer and director, whose work you know from favorites like “Girlfriends” and “The Game,” Salim has experience depicting complex black female characters with a comedic twist. Women like most of us, whose lives provide challenges without being as destructively dark as those seen in recent hits like “Precious.” Also shying away from the low brow humor of movies like “Lottery Ticket,” “Jumping the Broom” was crafted to be “funny without being vulgar,” Akil told the Examiner. What a refreshing burst of energy on the scene for films by and for our audience!

Could this miraculous evolution be because one of the producers is Tracey Edmonds, ex-wife of Babyface and co-producer of “Soul Food” (the movie and the TV series)? Many people do not know that Edmonds is the President and CEO of Our Stories Films, a film production company and studio co-founded by Robert L. Johnson, former owner of BET. This means that when Edmonds was appointed in 2006 she became the first black woman to head a movie production studio. Yes, that means Tracey is a sister who can give movies that green light. No wonder “Jumping the Broom” promises to show black women in a better light than the stereotypical images found in most mainstream entertainment.  Tracey Edmonds is using her power to show the full spectrum of the African-American female experience.

Edmonds herself is that kind of fab chick whose life is far from that popularized in Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls,” and she is bringing that good life to the silver screen. It’s amazing to see a black woman in executive control of the types of images of us that are produced.  And kudos to Salim Akil for complementing her valiant mission. “Jumping the Broom” is an exciting movie in this regard alone, as the product of black filmmakers, black producers and black talent coming together to make those positive “for us, by us” films we want.

Speaking of talent, “Jumping the Broom” offers a cornucopia of the best black entertainers working today. “Jumping the Broom” features an all-star cast including Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Loretta Devine, Tasha Smith, Julie Bowen, Meagan Good, DeRay Davis, Pooch Hall, Valarie Pettiford, Romeo Miller, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Gary Dourdan and everyone’s favorite comic, Mike Epps. This impressive group is sure to light up our lives with their dramatic antics.

Are you planning on seeing “Jumping the Broom”? If you are interested in planning a group expedition, please call 877.488.4258 or email[email protected] for group sales information. We need to support black film projects if we want to stimulate more opportunities for “our stories” to be told.

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