WATCH: Black Artists Declare 'We Come From Kings'

By Daniel Reynolds

Originally published on Advocate.com August 04 2014 6:44 PM ET

Lexus Verses and Flow has released a poetic and poignant teaser of its upcoming season.

The TV One series, which features spoken word and musical performances by both established and up-and-coming black artists, has partnered with Icon Mann for this stirring performance by host Laz Alonso, Lance Reddick, Devon Franklin, Aldis Hodge, Jay Ellis, Wesley Jonathan, and Prentice Powell, who also wrote the piece.

In the clip, the group of men stand onstage and perform a powerful poetry recitation, which details the struggles that come with being minority men in America, including issues of visibility and economic opportunity. The performance was conceived and directed by gay producer and songwriter Andrew Logan.

“We come from kings, born to do things only royalty can,” the men say in unison. “But the truth is, most of us aren’t seen. The truth is most of us kings will never be seen on the TV screen.”

The Advocate last covered Icon Mann earlier this year at its “Power 50” event, a pre-Oscars dinner honoring accomplished black men in Hollywood and beyond, including out director Paris Barclay. One of the evening’s honorees, Barclay also commented on visibility and the hurdles involved in creating a film with LGBT characters of color.

“All films that aren’t blockbusters right now are having trouble getting made. If you’re not a huge picture, you’ve got to be a really small picture, because the risk is too great. They’ll give you $10 million dollars or they’ll give you $180 million dollars. And our stories tend to be the ones that are in between. They’re bigger production. There’s more makeup,” the Sons of Anarchy director stated in the article, titled "Why Television Is Outpacing Film in Diversity."

Season 4 of Lexus Verses and Flow premieres August 16 at at 10 p.m. on TV One. Watch the clip below.