In the movies, Don Corleone is famous for saying: I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” And also: “A friend should always underestimate your virtues and an enemy overestimate your faults.”
Then there’s the real life made man know as “The Black Godfather” Clarence Avant.
The documentary on Netflix has everyone talking about this little known powerhouse who wielded a kind of unknown secret power over Entertainment that still buzzes today.
Take a look:
Known mostly for his work as a music executive, Clarence Avant has helped launch the careers of stars like Janet Jackson and Bill Withers. His imprint has been across black culture, from film to politics and sports. Still, his influence has often been exerted behind the scenes, making him a figure who moved easily between worlds, brokering deals and putting the right people together.
Those who have seen and those who will see this documentary are awe inspired by his quiet display of power in a world that is often characterized by opulence and grand spectacles.
He was a mediator for all of the most powerful people in our social lexicon. No wonder he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Though I’m the kind of person who would recommend the book instead of the movie, this Netflix depiction has to be a great introduction to one of the most powerful black influencers of our time!
“Born in 1931 in North Carolina, Avant moved to New Jersey as a teen, working as a store clerk. By the 1950s he was working at a lounge and met Joe Glaser, who managed Louis Armstrong. Avant became enamored with the music industry, eventually taking on clients like the jazz singer Sarah Vaughn.
By the 1960s, Avant was a force in the black music world. He launched one of the first fully black-owned radio stations, helped broker the sale of the legendary Stax Records, and served as a consultant to MGM and ABC in the 1970s, ensuring black artists got better deals. In the 1990s, he became chairman of the board of Motown Records. He even helped established artists—he was responsible for Michael Jackson’s 1987 Bad promotional posters.”
There’s so much more to learn about Clarence Avant so I recommend you begin your own research or at least catch it on Netflix.
Til next time…Be Blessed!