*Veteran actress Beverly Todd has been working in film and theatrical productions for over 40 years, having learned from none other than Sidney Poitier himself.

Beverly Todd

Her list of achievements are too numerous to list here, but some of our readership may remember her for her role in the now classic offering  “Roots,” “Lean on Me,” or even “Crash.” EURweb.com had a chance run in with this true marvel of stage and film and she let us know what’s coming up next.

“I have a film coming out called ‘Hope and Redemption: The Lena Baker Story.’ It’s the true story of a black woman that was (executed) in 1945 for killing a white man in self defense.  She was electrocuted.  She was the first, and I believe the last, black woman to be executed in the state of Georgia. Tichina Arnold plays Lena Baker, I play her mother. Production has already begun, it’s coming out this year. Lions Gate is releasing it and I’m not sure if it’s going to be released to video or film.”
If you are a fan of Ms. Todd, or just someone who is curious to learn of her works, then you already know or will soon realize that she does not touch anything but the best works. So when we found out she was working with our old friend Ava DuVernay we became that much more excited, for Ava and for Ms. Todd.

Ava DuVernay

“‘I Will Follow’ is a film written and directed by a brilliant young sister named Ava DuVernay. It’s absolutely brilliant. My role is a small role, it’s like the role I have in ‘Crash’.  It’s a very strong and meaningful role. It’s a story about Ava and her real life Aunt. It’s a true story and it’s an homage to her Aunt.  Sally Richardson plays Ava’s role. Sometimes it’s not the size of the role, but it’s so strongly written and so powerful.”

She went on to show mad love to Ms. DuVernay as well.  

“I adore her and she’s so smart. She’s young and she’s an example of what you can do with the power you have.  We as black people need to stop talking about what they are not doing for us and start doing what we can do for ourselves and she’s one of those dynamite young sisters that are doing it. I adore that.”

Currently there’s no release date for “Hope and Redemption” but we will certainly keep you posted. But, as far as Ava goes, she’s just finished working on “My Mic Sounds Nice,” due to air on BET August 30th, and “Essence Music Fest: 2010,” due to air on TV One on August 28th.We’re looking to get Ms. DuVernay to sit still for an interview.  We’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, a big ol’ thank you to the legendary Beverly Todd for her time.