To be Young, Unapologetically Black, and a Hustler in ‘Blue Collar Hustle’
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The digital boom has given us the means to create and distribute what it is that we are missing in our media consumption in forms of music, movies, videos, and web series. The latest web series to take on a subject that might be overlooked by mainstream media is Blue Collar Hustle.
Blue Collar Hustle is a story about four young black men in Atlanta looking to change their fortunes through art, creativity, and imagination while juggling careers, family, and expectation. What we noticed about the series right from episode one is that it is positive and unapologetically black.
The series combines great writing and fantastic score to immerse you into the lives of the young hustlers. The series premiered back in February and Season 2 is set for 2018.
We recently had a quick chat with the series creator, executive producer, and star of the show Alonge Hawes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color=”sandy_brown” border_width=”2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]BE: What motivated the creation of “Blue Collar Hustle”?
Alonge Hawes: “Blue Collar Hustle” was born of several occurrences. Firstly, I was unsatisfied with the portrayals of young black millennials in mainstream media. You can count on one hand the number of shows on television which depict black men and women as anything more than uninspiring tropes and crass stereotypes. “Blue Collar Hustle” is my attempt to join in league with those who are rewriting the Black American story.
Secondly, I wanted to explore the relative conscious of the modern day black millennial and how that mindset is influenced by our forbearers. Many of our parents teach us growing up that our greatest assets lay in the pursuit of status, not necessarily the pursuit of dreams. We are taught as young children that there are plenty of rappers and athletes, but not enough black Doctors, Engineers, and Lawyers. There is almost an inherent fear amongst the black middle class that stereotype will be the destiny of our generation if we are not pushed towards so called ‘higher’ goals. I wanted to explore that concept.
BE: The show has a very positive and uplifting message about being black. Was this the intention right from the start or something that grew out of the process of making it?
Alonge Hawes: It was the intention from the moment I put pen to paper. The black experience is often complex, painful, and confusing at times. But it can also be joyous and jubilant. I wanted to portray both sides of the equation, there is a great sense of freedom that these characters feel while pursuing a shared dream. The thrill of doing what you’ve always wished, but felt like you couldn’t do, is immensely rewarding. Black progress IS black excellence and these characters are on a path towards progression.
BE: As you know, filmmaking is a tough process, especially for independent filmmakers. How did you go about finding funding to create your show?
Alonge Hawes: I took $2,000 of my own personal savings to start the process of getting the series off the ground. After we shot the first two episodes we started a Crowdfunding campaign that helped raise enough funding to get us to episodes 3 and 4. Afterwards it was work, work, work. I used my overtime pay. I used my bonus pay. I scrapped together every nickel and dime. I MADE it happen.
BE: What should we expect from Season 2?
Alonge Hawes: Season 2 is going to go deeper into psyche of the characters and explore exactly what makes them tick. Without going into detail, it’s going to be edgier. The pursuit of a dream isn’t a fairytale. There are many challenges along the way. Before they see the dawn, our protagonists must find their way through darkness.
BE: Where do you hope to take the series?
Alonge Hawes: Every story has a beginning and an end. Blue Collar Hustle is no different. I hope to guide the characters to their natural destinations, and I hope that the audience only grows as we move forward.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color=”sandy_brown” border_width=”2″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You can catch up on Season 1 on YouTube. Connect with the series creators on Twitter and Instagram.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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