The birth of AAFCA began on a crisp fall day in New York City in 2003.
During a break from press junket activities at the posh Regency Hotel, I decided to step outside for a cigarette break. Soon, I was joined by fellow film critic, Shawn Edwards. Mindful of our shared concerns – regarding the failure of the film industry to promote images and themed stories from the African Diaspora – we agreed to organize a collective of Black film critics, in response to this pervasive issue.
Meeting again in New York City a few weeks later, Shawn and I were joined by other colleagues who enthusiastically agreed to support us in our plan to form an association for Black film critics. Fast-forward to three weeks later in Los Angeles –
Shawn and I met over lunch at the St. Regis and drafted the initial outline
for what is now the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).
As our peers got wind of our actions, we were quickly joined by other film journalists committed to our goals.
A flurry of activities ensued in the following weeks and continued well into the Christmas season of 2003. During that time, AAFCA's early members spent numerous hours prepping the organization's structure and making final decisions for the introductory year-end list – saluting the best films and artists of the year. Finally, with each member in agreement, AAFCA publicly announced the start of the organization and issued our 1st “Top-10 List.”
The support of AFFCA was as swift and dramatic as the whirlwind of transcontinental flights and late night phone calls it took to get the organization off the ground!Since our inception, we have received numerous calls of support, congratulations and many inquiries for membership.
As we move forward, AAFCA continues to bridge the gap of exposure for
filmmakers and artists of the African Diaspora. Likewise, we are deeply committed to aiding the development of aspiring, Black film journalists who will represent future generations of AAFCA – solidifying the integrity of our vision.
~ Gil L. Robertson IV, Co-Founder