To generate a national conversation on the plight of Black men and boys, Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF) has partnered with actor–director Mario Van Peebles and producer Karen Williams to create BRING YOUR "A" GAME — a documentary film that, in Van Peebles’ words, “sheds light on the resilience and influence of Black males.” BRING YOUR "A" GAME uses screenings and accompanying community discussions as a catalyst to transform the lives of urban youth. Using a cinematic style influenced by popular culture and employing innovative technologies, the film details strategies that have improved the lives of Black men and boys. It underscores how essential educational achievement and high school graduation are to survival and success in today’s world.
Interviewees include such Black male icons as Richard “Dick” Parsons, Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Dr. Cornel West, Ice Cube, Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kevin Liles, Lou Gossett Jr., Lupe Fiasco, Hill Harper, Damon Dash, Kevin Powell, Melvin Van Peebles, Geoffrey Canada, Bruce Gordon and former NBA star Alan Houston, among others.
BRING YOUR "A" GAME aired exclusively on BET in 2009 and is the cornerstone of a community engagement program that brings together resources and strategies from 21CF’s Black Men and Boys Initiative. Ancillary materials for the campaign include: