Making Black Media
Comm Program Grad Mylz Blake’s Success Formula Combines Meaningful Clients, BIPOC Advocacy and Public Service
Before Digital Cinema was Digital Cinema, Comm program grad Mylz Blake set out to build a career in film and video production informed by his commitments as a Black storyteller in a time of change.
Since graduating from SOU in 2017, Blake has gone on to complete a graduate degree in video production at Syracuse University, and launch a media production company designed to advocate for an anti-racist agenda.
“Black Cub Productions, LLC, is the spawn of Black revolution in America,” Blake says. “It is derived from the Black Panther Party’s ideologies. The core value of this party was to create an environment of community, trust, and to educate one another so that we may live without fear.”
Established by Blake and fellow Syracuse grad Eric Jackson Jr., Black Cub uses the media to continue the work of the Black Panthers by spotlighting BIPOC voices and creators. Established during the social and political unrest of the 1960s, the original Black Panther Party advocated for equal rights for African Americans and developed community programs to support Black communities in the United States.
Blake came to SOU to play football, and graduated in 2017 with a major in Communication and a concentration in Film, Television and Radio. After graduating, Blake moved to New York to further his studies at Syracuse University.
“I went to Syracuse from SOU because I felt like I wasn’t prepared to go into the industry yet,” Blake said, noting that the Communication program had not yet launched its Digital Cinema major. “I had a best friend that was attending Syracuse and he motivated me to move out there.”
Growing up in California, Blake and Jackson shared the experience of misrepresentation of African-Americans, ranging from a “lack of black history and education in the school districts, diminishing black culture through repression of authentic expression, typecasting blacks as criminals and thugs for cultural expressions and many more facets of oppression,” according to Black Cub’s website.
Blake and Jackson hope that their brand can help lift the voices of BIPOC creators and support them to reach their dreams while changing the world for future generations.
“Media is probably the most powerful tool in the world today and so much of our perspectives are based on the media we consume,” said Blake. “We wanted to use that same tool to fight the negative stereotypes the media has portrayed about the black community.”
Black Cub has worked with companies large and small including Netflix, LG, The Hill, and The Digital Hyve. The company offers their clients everything from logos and video production to campaign and marketing strategies.
When asked what some of his favorite projects have been, Blake cited Salt City Market, a food market and dining hall in Syracuse.
“They were our first client, and we helped brand them and get them started,” Blake said. “We started off with trying to find vendors for a food market and now the market is built and is doing very well.”
Another project Blake was excited to share was Life Through My Own Lens, a collaboration with the 100 Black Men of Syracuse non-profit advocacy group. The project will help BIPOC youth gain the skills needed to thrive in the film industry.
Interview by Autumn Micketti (@mountainmusicwoman), Community Manager for the Communication Program at Southern Oregon University.