March 30, 2022
Photo by: Amy Sussman/Staff
Put some respect on her name!
Actress and director Salli Richardson-Whitfield has worked in the film and television industry for 30 years!
She has starred with several of Hollywood’s best stars, including Keenan Ivory Wayans in A Low Down Dirty Shame, Samuel L. Jackson in The Great White Hype, and Denzel Washington in Antwone Fisher the span of her career.
In 2011, she exploded onto the scene as a director and producer after switching gears to a career behind the camera.
As Richardson-Whitfield’s ability as a filmmaker was recognized early on by Ava DuVernay, she was offered a directing opportunity to direct two back-to-back episodes of the first season of the hit series Queen Sugar.
Here are our favorite movies and directing moments of Salli Richardson-Whitfield to celebrate her successful career! Be sure to tune in to an all-new episode of Uncensored, Sunday, April 3rd at 10P/9C where the legend herself tells her story!
A Low Down Dirty Shame
The 1994 film A Low Down Dirty Shame will always be a classic!
From the memorable lines that fans are still quoting today to how the film shows the range of its hilarious scenes to the action-packed scenes the cast shined through.
We got to see how Richardson-Whitfield brings the serious, action-packed element of the film with her character Angela.
The character Angela was a no-nonsense woman that knew what she wanted and didn’t let anyone get in her way of obtaining what she wanted. The Chicagoan native truly understood the assignment when it came to this role!
The Great White Hype
The Great White Hype was released in 1996, starred some of Hollywood’s most prominent actors such as Samuel L. Jackson, Sallie Richardson-Whitfield, Peter Berg, Damon Wayans, Jeff Goldblum, Jon Lovitz, Cheech Marin, and Jamie Foxx.
The film, directed by Reginald Hudlin, who also directed the 1992 film Boomerang, never stops slamming the boxing industry and its image-obsessed mentality. The film also sends a contemporary message about how racial division may be used in sports (particularly boxing) to make great money.
Richardson-Whitfield does a phenomenal job capturing the film’s character Bambi.
Bambi, who is Julio’s assistant, was hired as eye candy. However, she has a bona fide idea: Terry Conklin, a white guy who gave Roper his lone amateur loss.
Again, the 54-year-old actress knew what needed to be gave in this movie!
The moving story of a sailor named Antwone Fisher, portrayed by none other than Derek Luke, is brought to a military psychiatrist played by Hollywood veteran Denzel Washington for therapy because of his violent outbursts.
Fisher initially refuses to open up during his therapy sessions but eventually does and discloses a tragic childhood. Ultimately, the young sailor tackles his terrible history with the help of his new doctor and embarks on a search for the family he never knew.
Playing the character Berta Davenport, Richardson-Whitfield shows another side of her acting capabilities.
With her acting expertise, her memorable performance helped illustrate a beautiful story.
Queen Sugar’s “So Far” and “All Good”
As a well-established actress with a successful career, Richardson-Whitfield’s talents behind the camera have also solidified her spot in Hollywood.
She directed two episodes of Ava DuVernay’s drama series Queen Sugar for the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2016, in which her husband, actor Dondre Whitfield appears as a series regular.
In the episode “So Far,” the actress-turned-director helped beautifully capture the plot of the storm disrupting the harvest timetable. The character Charley played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner, was forced to look for a new mill.
When she refuses the Boudreaux family’s unfair profit share, she realizes there’s more to their land’s narrative than she first thought.
And in the episode “All Good,” the 54-year-old also lent her directive genius to help bring the episode to life.
In this episode, The Bordelon siblings need to find a new mill, but they need a cost-effective solution.
And this episode brings the drama, emotion, action that the people need!
Black-ish’s “Black Like Us”
The show’s creator and writer, Kenya Barris, knew precisely what he was doing, bringing heavy-hitter Richardson-Whitfield on board to direct this much-needed episode.
Although Black-ish is considered a comedy, the show has several gems within each episode, and “Black Like Us” is no different.
The powerful duo of Barris and Richard-Whitfield did a phenomenal job of capturing a severe issue, colorism.
In this episode, we see how Dre and Bow are furious after Diane isn’t lit properly in her class photo; eventually, we see Junior claims there is unspoken colorism within the family.
Dear White People’s “Volume 2: Chapter V” and “Volume 3: Chapter IX”
In 2018, we saw how Richardson-Whitfield lent her genius to the Netflix hit series Dear White People.
In the episode “Volume 2: Chapter V,” Joelle strikes up a flirtation with a student outside the A-P group who treats her like a queen, fed up with living in Sam’s shadow.
With more great credits to her name, these are our favorite times we’ve seen the great Salli Richardson-Whitfield in front and behind the camera.
What are your favorite credits?