JuVee Productions, the production company led by Viola Davis and her husband, Julius Tennon, and 44 Blue Productions have partnered to bring this timely, yet long overdue series on the history of Black Dandy fashion to life on our television screens.
In her book, the curator and researcher encapsulates the empowering nature and swagger of Black Dandyism with contemporary photos of men exuding black excellence and historically rich content. She shows how dandyism is not just a style defined by popping colors and lively patterns, but a movement that originates from Enlightenment England's slave culture, when "high-styled rebel" black men decided to become walking examples of what it means to be fashionable, masculine, and black.
But, as Lewis put it in an interview with OkayAfrica last year, she also effectively shows how black masculinity transcends gender. "Black masculinity exists on a spectrum," she says, "which is why I have cisgendered men in the book, I have trans men in the book, I have masculine-of-center women and effeminate women."
These individuals of Dandy fashion, and the generations that follow, discredit the one-sided definitions put out by mainstream media. It is because of Lewis' successful book, that Davis, Tennon and Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitc, co-founder and president of 44 Blue Productions, are passionate about showing how Dandy men and women positively influence culture.
Dandy Lion will bring the themes of black masculinity, pride and self-expression to the screen. In today's culture, in the midst of discussions around black pride, equality and self-identity, Dandy Lion will be a beautiful stroke added to the repainting of what it means to be black.