The Oscar-Nominated Writers of Judas and the Black Messiah Make History


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Judas and the Black Messiah, a ground-breaking film about the life of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, has been hailed as one of the best films of the year. The film is up for five Oscars, including Best Picture. It’s a historic haul for a movie made by an all-Black team of producers.

It’s also a notable and somewhat unexpected achievement for Keith and Kenny Lucas, who, along with director Shaka King and co-writer Will Berson, wrote the semi-biopic’s screenplay. The Hollywood honor for the 35-year-old identical twins known as the Lucas Brothers arrives after they built careers in comedy, including standup; appearances in 22 Jump Street and Arrested Development; and starring roles in the series Friends of the People and Lucas Bros. Moving Co.

On today’s bonus episode, Mother Jones reporter Ali Breland caught up with the brothers to chat about comedy, philosophy, and what it was like to make a movie about a revolutionary socialist who was committed to Black freedom.

An edited transcript of the interview can be found on

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