February 24, 2024

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Cord Jefferson’s debut feature film, “American Fiction,” has been nominated for five Academy Awards. The film, based on Percival Everett’s 2001 novel “Erasure,” is receiving acclaim for its portrayal of a more diverse Black experience in comparison to most Hollywood movies. Jefferson, who initially worked as a journalist before transitioning to entertainment, has witnessed firsthand the rigid perceptions of “Blackness” in the industry. Reflecting on an executive’s request for a character to be “blacker” in one of his scripts, Jefferson emphasizes the “absurdity” of race as a construct. He views race as a target for comedy due to its contradictory nature – being both insignificant and important, real and unreal. Jefferson hopes that his film will shine a light on this inherent tension and absurdity surrounding race.