In “195 Lewis”, queer, black, and female cast navigate relationships in the rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood of Bed-Stuy.
195 Lewis, a new web series premiering Thursday November 16, not only tackles the intricacies of LGBTQ culture but also offers an intimate look at the queer black community in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn. Creators Rae Leone Allen and Yaani Supreme—both queer black women who lived in Brooklyn—carve out a space dense with complex LGBTQ women of color, and invite the audience to “feel like they’re at the party,” director Chanelle Aponte Pearson told Broadly. And from the show’s very first episode, 195 Lewis does just that.
But making this show wasn’t easy—largely bootstrapped, 195 Lewis was three years in the making. “At first, no one got what we were trying to do,” Allen explained, admitting that she felt the “impostor syndrome” that many women, especially women of color, can relate to. But during their first table reading when the words came to life, Allen said, it felt clear that they were on to something special that would require the effort and dedication of everyone involved.
As more women are stepping forward to unmask abusers in various industries, Allen says it’s clear that we need this kind of tenacity from traditionally marginalized voices more than ever.
“The only thing we need to take from white men is their audacity,” Allen explained with a slight laugh while remaining completely serious. “Women are different kind of creatures, we’re constantly asking questions and interrogating ourselves, we know we’ll be responsible with our art. We just need to get audacious.”
With the surge of African-American geared programming, its great to see that there are so many stories to tell.
“We’re showing beautiful black women on screen loving each other and being themselves. That’s revelatory in and of itself,” Allen explained.