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Erika Alexander spotlights reparations in her latest film –


After decades in the entertainment industry, Erika Alexander has shifted her focus to filmmaking — specifically sharing Black stories. 

Her latest project, a documentary, addresses the controversial topic of reparations, which Alexander says is obtainable for Black Americans. 

Speaking at Livingstone College Monday evening, Alexander pointed to the example of Robin Rue Simmons, an alderman in Evanston, Illinois, who helped pass a city-funded program that some have likened to reparations. The program pays money to black residents who faced barriers to buying homes because of racist policies in the mid-20th Century — the first U.S. city to do so.

Simmons is featured in Alexander’s documentary, “The Big Payback,” which follows the journey of two elected officials in their fight for reparations for Black Americans at the local and federal levels. 

A new career focus

Alexander, best known for her role as Maxine Shaw on the hit TV show “Living Single,” said she decided to pursue filmmaking to provide a Black voice to Black stories. Along with a business partner, she co-founded Color Farm Media.

“I’m going to do everything in my power to tell stories and to expose the things that plague us and drag us down over and over again,” Alexander told the Livinstone College audience.


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