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'Expressions in Black' debuts Monday on KGW

This new series shares stories about the local black community and is produced by the black community flipping the script on stereotypes.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Monday night, a new sponsored series debuts on KGW-TV. It's called "Expressions in Black."

It features local people of color and the contributions they’re making. It's shot documentary-style so you'll hear these artists and entrepreneurs, teachers, firefighters and others tell their stories in their own words.

Heart and Hustle Productions created the series. Owner Rashad Floyd described his inspiration this way, "I want the black community to feel like 'we have our own show.'"

He's also hoping to expand your worldview and shake up some stereotypes. "When I see myself in the mirror — and a lot of other people of color see themselves in the mirror — they don't see oppression, they don't see poverty, they don't see a lack of belonging. They see creativity, they see innovation, they see education, they see perseverance, they see excellence. And this show is built to help re-illustrate the image of the black community."

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Floyd is originally from the Bay Area. He came to Portland two decades ago on a football scholarship to Portland State University and never left. Now this former athlete is a storyteller who runs his own production house with a purpose. And all the people he features for this project are local.  "They're hidden gems right in our own backyard."

Credit: Rashad Floyd
Rashad Floyd playing football at Portland State University.

From philanthropists to BIPOC farmers and everyone in between, Expressions in Black will introduce you to people like Mike Phillips. He's a world-renowned saxophone player who lives in Oregon City. He's played with the greats including Stevie Wonder and Prince and he's the first, non-athlete musician to sign with Nike's "Brand Jordan."

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In a clip from the first episode he said, "The correlation between music and sports-- it feeds each other. You have to remember your technique. Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect."

WATCH: Expressions in Black: Mike Phillips

Floyd also said Expressions in Black is about creating jobs. "I think it's important for these stories to be told by the black community. We're a group of black filmmakers, black creatives, black editors, black graphic designers, black photographers. This show is providing opportunities for people who look like us to get into this industry, to feel like this is a show for the community and make it feel authentic."  

Expressions in Black airs tonight immediately following The Good Stuff at 7:00 p.m. on KGW-TV.

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