It’s October, y’all! We’re celebrating what we call Black Cinema Month at Soul Music Society! That means we are highlighting some of the most legendary films from the 70s including their stars and their music. ⁠

Five on the Black Hand Side is a classic film starring a versatile cast of Leonard Jackson, Clarice Taylor, Glynn Turman, D’Urville Martin, Dick Anthony Williams, Virginia Capers, Sonny Jim Gaines, Ja’net DuBois, Philomena Nowlin, and Bonnie Banfield.⁠

Watch this clip! This was harder than a BET cypher. Am I lying? Love the line when he says “I ain’t giving up nothing but bubble gum and hard time!” Well…⁠

Here’s a little more info on the film. It’s an African American comedy based on the 1969 play by Charlie L. Russell who received several prizes for the screenplay. In 1975, he received the NAACP Image Award for Best Film Script. In 1973, the Institute of International Education provided him with a grant to study African rituals and ceremonies in Nigeria for a period of three months. He also received a Rockefeller Playwright’s Grant in 1975. ⁠

Fed up with patriarch Mr. John Henry Brooks Jr.’s (Leonard Jackson) tyrannical rule, Mrs. Brooks (Clarice Taylor) and the Brooks children — Booker T. Washington (D’Urville Martin), Gideon (Glynn Turman) and the soon-to-be-married Gail (Bonnie Banfield) are a family in revolt. But it’s the impending nuptials, along with fiancé Marvin’s (director Carl Franklin) insistence that the wedding be a traditional African ceremony that’s the catalyst for all the dramedy. Adding to the fun is Ja’Net Dubois as firebrand Stormy Monday. With a colorful assortment of eccentric friends and neighbors, and topics ranging from black identity to gender equality, you have “a real clean scene with a lot of laughter in between.”⁠

In this article


Five on the Black Hand Side (Soundtrack)

Movie: Five on the Black Hand Side

There is so much more to be said about this film from highlighting the women’s liberation movement to African American civil rights. ⁠

Check out the other classic films that we’re celebrating for Black Cinema Month. You might rediscover an old favorite or discover something new!

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