"One of the top film educators from around the globe"

Variety Magazine

"For nearly two decades, the San Antonio native (Ya’Ke) has been making films that grapple with race and social change"

The Texas Monthly

"25 screenwriters to watch"

Moviemaker magazine


The Pandemic Chronicles


Dear Bruh


Katrina’s Son

The Beginning and Ending of Everything



‘The Beauty Black Communities Create in Order to Survive’

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In January 2019, fresh off a film season that included Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Sorry to Bother You, and The Hate You Give, Barry Jenkins spoke to PBS NewsHour about Black stories in American cinema. “It’s being told in so many different ways,” he said. “I think it speaks to the diversity of the audience. I think people don’t want the African American experience to be presented as a monolith.” With that and mind, Vogue asked Black film academics from across the country about the movies we should be watching now and why.


Dear Bruh. A Eulogy. A Baptism. A Call to Action. (2020)


Selfishly, but with good intent, I suggest my latest film. As our country experiences unrest, an unrest that will undoubtedly lead to a shift of power and a reckoning with this country’s original sin, I made this film to process the deep pain and grief I feel every time I witness a Black person murdered because they’re not seen as human; to pay respect for those lost to racial violence; and to offer a visual baptism that can hopefully serve as a call to action and change—Professor Ya’Ke Smith, University of Texas at Austin


How to Watch: Stream on YouTube

‘The Beauty Black Communities Create in Order to Survive’