Filmmaker Justin Malone's documentary showcases stories of Black conservative thinkers

The Washington Times - August 16, 2020

An occasional interview series with everyday Americans who are challenging the status quo.

Filmmaker Justin Malone interviewed several Black conservative figures about their experiences in his documentary, "Uncle Tom." (Alberto Elizondo Photography)

Jolted by an MSNBC host’s hostile treatment of the late Herman Cain in a 2011 interview, filmmaker Justin Malone set out on a path bucking the media establishment that has led him to directing this year’s surprise hit documentary “Uncle Tom.”

He was just coming out of film school, uncertain of his politics and his future, when he saw MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell accuse then-Republican presidential candidate Cain, who died this month, of civil rights cowardice.

“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Mr. Malone told The Washington Times. “I was sort of undergoing my own political transformation at the time and the seed was planted right there.”

He remains astonished that an accomplished Black professional could be treated with such boldfaced contempt on a television news program. The notion that conservative thinking could be perceived as hostile or alien to the Black experience captivated him.

“It just seemed silly, to think Black people couldn’t be conservative or couldn’t be Republican,” said Mr. Malone, who is White.

The outlook permeates his film “Uncle Tom,” a black-and-white documentary that showcases several Black conservatives.