Home Arts & Leisure New documentary recalls PepsiCo’s all-Black sales team during the Jim Crow era

New documentary recalls PepsiCo’s all-Black sales team during the Jim Crow era

PepsiCo Inc. has announced award-winning filmmakers Stanley Nelson and Jacqueline Olive will co-direct “The Color of Cola,” a new documentary on how the company broke racial barriers in the Jim Crow South by recruiting an all-Black sales team focused on the region’s Black consumers.

The new film, which is now in production, is based on Stephanie Capparell’s 2008 book “The Real Pepsi Challenge: How One Pioneering Company Broke Color Barriers in 1940s American Business.” Nelson’s latest film, “Attica,” is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature Film and Olive’s 2019 “Always in Season” premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Moral Urgency.

Last year, the Purchase-headquartered PepsiCo announced its Racial Equality Journey, which allocated more than $570 million over five years to increase Black and Hispanic managerial and content creation representation within the company and across its network of suppliers and strategic partners.

Photo: A 1940s-era meeting of PepsiCo’s all-Black sales team, courtesy of PepsiCo Inc.

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Phil Hall's writing for Westfair Communications has earned multiple awards from the Connecticut Press Club and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. He is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News and the author of 11 books (including the upcoming "100 Years of Wall Street Crooks," published by Bicep Books). He is also the host of the SoundCloud podcast "The Online Movie Show," host of the WAPJ-FM talk show "Nutmeg Chatter" and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill's Congress Blog, Profit Confidential, The MReport and StockNews.com. Outside of journalism, he is also a horror movie actor - usually playing the creepy villain who gets badly killed at the end of each film.

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