Sammy Davis, Jr. : I Gotta Be Me is the Ultimate Tribute to the Ultimate Entertainer

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Sammy Davis, Jr. was the ultimate entertainer.  He could sing.  He could dance.  He could do a killer celebrity impersonation.  He could act.  He was a member of the Rat Pack.  And...he bridged the racial gap of entertainment like no other.  There will never be another.

Sammy Davis, Jr.:  I Gotta Be Me took me way back to the hey day of television when variety shows reined and feeling like you were on the Vegas strip from high inside your living room was the norm.  As with most entertainers, I thought I knew Sammy Davis, Jr.  After all, he was like a cousin that came to visit every once in a while right through my television set.  The reality is that Sammy Davis, Jr., as enormously talented as he was, had dealt with the racism on the most hurtful level...from his own race.  He was viewed as a sellout, "Anytime you walk down the street and your own people turn you away...all the money and diamonds, the fame, the fortune mean absolutely nothing."  Just when he thought it couldn't get any worse he was dissed by The White House.

In addition to being known as a ladies man, Davis was also infamously know for being one of the first Black Jews in America.  His whole life was about confronting obstacles.  His gift was talent.  The curse was being Black in America.  Nobody said it better than Davis himself, "...Even if you win...you don't win."

My all time favorite thing to watch was his performance of Mr. Bojangles.  To this day, it still brings tears to my eyes...

 

Director Sam Pollard is a fan, as well as the filmmaker of his emotionally charged doc.  I had the opportunity to speak with him twice.  Once before the film's first screening and again during the recent AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles...

Sammy Davis Jr,:  I Gotta Be Me premiered as part of the American Masters series on PBS.  For those of you who have never heard of Sammy Davis, Jr. , after viewing this doc you will never forget him.  For this doc and others in the American Masters series follow this link...PBS American Masters Series

 

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Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!