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Our History


  • MISSION:

    The Black Stuntmen’s Association (BSA) was also founded for the sole mission to train, protect, preserve and honor the memory of  African- American Stuntmen and Minority pioneers of the Motion Picture and  Television  Industry.

HISTORY:

 During the Hollywood era in  the 60’s, African-Americans were not allowed to act as stunt doubles in the film industry. As the civil rights movement began to gain  momentum in the 60’s, blacks and other minorities were featured more prominently in movies  and television, the practice known as a “paint-down” became even more prevelant. Consequently, in 1967 the Black Stuntmen’s Association (BSA), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was established for the pursuit of equality for stunt people of all races and genders. Bill Cosby---was the first established actor to break the glass ceiling by hiring black stuntmen for black actors when he starred on the television series “I Spy”.  This one act changed the common practice of using “paint down” forever changing the landscape of the motion picture and television industry.


In 2008, the BSA held the first reunion of the original black stuntmen in Las Vegas, which was hosted  by legendary actor, producer and  trailblazer, Bill Cosby.  Mr. Cosby along with George Wallace presented lifetime achievement awards to these original stuntmen, it was the first time ever that these Stuntmen were ever honored. Today, many of the original stuntmen and women are retired, deceased and or have been left permanently injured and poorly compensated due to unfair practices and lack of safety and resources at the time.  However, these trailblazers  opened the doors  for many minority stuntmen that today enjoy increased opportunities, good pay and fair and equitable treatment.


  The BSA also produced some of the world’s most renowned stunt performers and 2nd unit directors, including the acclaimed Stuntmen Henry Kingi, Tony Brubaker, Richard Washington, Ernie Robinson, Bob Minor, Calvin Brown (stunt double for Bill Cosby) Jophrey Brown (stunt double Morgan Freeman) Greg Elam. Today, Greg’s son are still in the Industry, performing stunts for Samuel L. Jackson, Will Smith, Don Cheadle, Brandon T. Jackson among others. These exceptional craftsmen created an exemplary body of work on critically acclaimed and blockbuster projects. However, there were tragedies, veteran stunt performers Sonja Davis (killed while performing on the set of Vampire in Brooklyn); John Sherrod (killed driving home after a long shoot) and all the nameless stunt performers who risked everything to perform their talent--- died with nothing.