If you were like the millions of people—we predicted—that watched The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel on Lifetime on Saturday night, then you know just how fantastic it was!
Executive produced by Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige and Missy Elliott this entertaining and moving biography centers on the Detroit-raised Clark Sisters, who became the bestselling female gospel group in history thanks to their strict and God-feating mama, Dr. Mattie Moss Clark (Aunjanue Ellis). With her and God by their side, the five sisters (Christina Bell, Kierra Sheard, Shelea Frazier, Raven Goodwin and Angela Birchett) went from singing in the pulpit of their church to bringing gospel music into the mainstream.
Every actress bodied their role, but we would be remiss if you didn’t mention that this was Ellis’ moment and her best role to date in her impressive 15-year career. She was that perfect blend of the saved perfectionist overbearing mother who didn’t play any games when it came to her God, her daughters and singing for the Lord. Ellis was born to play Mattie.
Take a look:
While the music was definitely a favorite among fans, every note touched my soul, the film touched on a range of issues from domestic violence, sexism in the church, toxic relationships between mothers and daughters, infidelity and the obstacles Black women face when having ambition and immense talent.
Not to mention, ALL THE DRAMA, including that funeral scene. Directed by Christine Swanson and written by Sylvia L. Jones, this is the first authorized biopic about the group and their story was treated with respect, dignity and grace.
Here, EP Queen Latifah talks about how she was inspired by this dynamic group in her own music.
During these dark times, were are blessed to have this film come into our lives, to bring us a little joy. That, and the best things come to those who wait, which let Dr. Holly Carter, the film’s producer, tell it, took 15-years for this TV gem to get made. While some may have been devastated that they couldn’t promote the film because of the pandemic, Carter stressed that they bounced back, thinking outside of the box.
“God’s timing is perfect,” she told Billboard, adding, “We had a robust plan prepared, from church screenings across the country to press, television and performance opportunities. Then all of a sudden, one by one, everything just canceled. So we shifted to a robust, aggressive digital and social media blitz.”
Oh, and trust, Black Twitter was READY for this biopic, putting on their virtual Sunday’s best to celebrate all this #BlackExcellence, call out that scenes that made them feel a way and express how they wished this would have been longer than its two and a half hour running time! Here’s what they had to say: