Phillip Michael Youmans is a writer and director from the Seventh Ward of New Orleans. He believes it is his duty to create work that counters the stereotype and caricature-ridden image of the black community in popular culture. He was raised by a single, hard-working black mother who instilled in him the fact that whatever he wanted to achieve he must be willing to put in the necessary work. She grew up in a working-class area of Low country South Carolina during a time when the Ku Klux Klan made regular marches down her street, and separate and unequal was the status quo. She has fought through institutional sexism and racism to get to where she is.
As a black storyteller, Phillip believes that we need to define our own narrative. His films are grounded in truth, and that honesty can't be sacrificed. His first feature film "Burning Cane" speaks on the black and white religious convictions that control the black community in the rural south and the violence that arises from masculinity complexes. In support of this vision, his next narrative feature film “Brothers and Sisters” seeks to give an authentic perspective of the New Orleans Chapter of the Black Panther Party and dispel the fallacies that have stigmatized them. The New Orleans Chapter was subjected to violence and blatant racism in the lingering aftermath of Jim Crow. Within this chapter’s short-lived tenure at the Desire Housing Projects, Phillip saw a story of black self-governance and the proposition of a black utopia. He saw these teenage men and women who were working for the betterment and progression of their people at home perpetuate some of the same stereotypes that they were fighting against. It’s that type of duality that compels him to tell their story. In order to tell this story as honestly as he could, Phillip interviewed surviving members of the New Orleans Chapter for a year and a half before he sat down to write the first draft.