Speaking of “Hidden Figures,” here’s an intriguing upcoming documentary from filmmaker Sheila Dianne Jackson and her Eve’s Lime Productions shingle, that I think will be of interest to many of you.
Promising to bring to light the mostly ignored story of black women in rock, the film is titled “Nice & Rough: Black Women IN Rock.” Per the filmmaker, it will pay homage to the women who helped define the sound that emerged as rock n’ roll in the 1950s and 60s, and the generation of women that followed them, inspired by their contributions.
It originally started as a documentary on background singers, and evolved into something more that will uncover a rarely talked about, and to many, likely entirely unknown history of black women in rock. Jackson says she was inspired by her sister, a multi-talented singer (opera, jazz, R&B, and metal rock), who was attracted to hardcore rock music, which the filmmaker was fascinated by, leading her to expand her original idea into one that chronicled a rich though “hidden” history.
On the significance of the film, Jackson has this to say: “Every time I interview a Black woman in rock, I ask her to guess how many others are out there. Their numbers range from 0 – 25. Never higher. These women have no clue of the rich community that exists around them. Their image is almost never reflected in the media. There are hundreds of Black women in rock, perhaps even thousands, once you get into the international music scene. It’s so important for us to see the diversity of our images reflected in media. And black women in rock are a group whose presence in the music world has never been acknowledged. My goal is to document this rich history, so we can all understand and celebrate their contribution to this unique, music form.”
It’s been a long journey for Jackson, who is still working on the film as her finances permit – a process that many indie filmmakers will be intimately familiar with: “I have received an incredible amount of encouragement, support, even offers to buy the project once it’s complete. But no one has invested in the actual production. So like many indie filmmakers, I made the decision to move it all forward on my own steam, and not wait. I began an amazing journey of getting to know black women in rock and creating an online community where I could interact with them and their fans. Every time I work on Nice & Rough resources manifest in the most magical of circumstances. It is that energy that has gotten me this far. Now it’s time for the production to go beyond depending on exciting twists of fate and favors, and to have a meaningful budget that allows us to get it done.”
There’s much traveling being done, as well as her production team to cover, in addition to equipment, research and paying for archival footage, etc, etc, etc. It all costs money!
You can contact Sheila and follow the project on Twitter at @NiceandRough.
Below is some early raw interview footage/clips from the upcoming film, featuring Divinity Roxx and Maya Glick (a.k.a. Mother Goddess).