You Need to Watch… From the Vault: Alex Haley Interviews Spike Lee and Julie Dash

Alex Haley

Alex Haley

Alex Haley is probably best known as the author of “Roots: The Saga of an American Family” and “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” – both would go on to inspire screen adaptations (for TV and film, respectively).

But many probably have never heard of, nor seen this short-lived series he hosted not-so long before he died in 1992, titled “Dialogue With Black Filmmakers.”

The title should be self-explanatory.

The episodes were shot in 1991 and there’s very little online that’s been written about the series. And it doesn’t appear to exist in any home video format (DVD, VHS, etc), which is a shame.

Although it supposedly eventually aired on Black Entertainment Television, during 1992/1993 season. Yes, BET. This was before it devolved into ass-shaking-music-video-heaven (or hell, depending on your POV), when they had shows like “Teen Summit,” and Ed Gordon’s news program. Of course, since Debra Lee took over, BET has grown up.

But despite there not being very much written about the series, there’s very surprisingly some footage from a couple of episodes of the program which are embedded below.

Apparently, Haley talked to several filmmakers over the course of the series, including luminaries of the time, like Spike Lee, Julie Dash, John Singleton, Robert Townsend and others. There was also a tribute to Oscar Micheaux.

Embedded below is part of the Spike Lee interview below, in which he talks getting “Malcolm X” made, as well as his future outlook; and underneath, is his interview with Julie Dash. Both wonderful time capsules:

And here he is with Julie Dash:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *