Black people have been able to make dinner out of scraps. Taking that analogy and everything that we created, we always had to do the side thing to create stuff what was left over. What we didn’t have access to we had to create for ourselves. I’ve always thought that we’ve always been a people of survivors and very little living. I always ask the question to all my friends and to people i meet: I wonder what it’s like to live and not [just] survive.
D. Channsin Berry is a filmmaker, as well as a prolific songwriter and painter. Mr. Berry started his career in New York radio at WBLS (FM) under the leadership of mentor and friend Frankie Crocker and after spending 5 years in radio in the Bay Area, he moved to Los Angeles for a position in the Walt Disney Studios Feature Film Financing Division. Mr. Berry went on to write and direct music videos for artists such as Chaka Khan and Dionne Warwick, to name a few. Mr. Berry also directed the PRAME Awards (Blacks in Advertising). Mr. Berry then used his music talent to write songs for Pop/R& B Diva Chaka Khan, Jazz vocalist Mary Stallings, Prince/Rosie Gaines, and Jazz Legend Nancy Wilson (2006 Grammy Award Winning CD “Turned to Blue”). In between his music endeavors, he worked in television as an Executive Producer/Director and sometimes hosts for various shows such as BET’s NY/LA Entertainment magazine, All The People (Fox-Bay Area Talk Show), Shaq Jam (Hip Hop concert, Direct TV/Fox), Remixed (BET) and the Fox entertainment show Poker Dome. Mr. Berry moved on to direct independent films and documentaries such as A Different Shade of Love, My Father’s Music…Jazz (Documentary PBS/Cable) and The Black Line… (A Profile of the Black Male. Parts 1, 2 and 3). He is currently working on several film and TV projects for Urban Winter Entertainment with business partner Mark Cohen. Mr. Berry is also the founder of the D. Channsin Berry Foundation, which raises money for LUPUS awareness.
He is a producer and director, known for Dark Girls 2 (2020), Dark Girls (2011) and The Black Line.
During our conversation, Mr. Berry talked about:
– His document The Covered Mind … Mental Health In The Black Community and why he produces the content he does
– The need for Black people to talk about and address mental health
– Addressing his own mental health challenges
– His thoughts on faith and forgiveness
– A message he has for Black men
– The impact of some of the events during 2020 have had on many Blacks
– Racism and white supremacy
– His thoughts on Black people create and white people conquer
– Realizing how many Black people are suffering in silence
– Some of the impacts that COVID has had on some Black people
– If the entertainment industry is serious about giving Black people a break
– His documentary The Church House … Sexuality In The Black Church and his thoughts on the state of the Black church
– The loss of four close friends last year and his mother due to COVID
– Some of the things on his bucket list
– His love of and for Stevie Wonder
– His message for Black people
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