The new Jamie Foxx film ‘The Burial’ isn’t about HBCUs, but it does have several HBCU ties, including a former HBCU basketball player who had a small role in the film.
The film stars Jamie Foxx as Willie Gary, a flashy, high-profile personal injury attorney who takes a chance on a long-shot case and takes down a big-business giant.
The real Willie Gary is a two-time HBCU graduate and former Shaw University football player. Gary received his undergrad degree from Shaw, where he played as an undersized linebacker in the 1950s. He went on to law school at nearby North Carolina Central University and began a law career that would make him one of the most prominent African-American lawyers in the country.
While neither Shaw University nor NCCU were mentioned by name in the film, Howard University was. However, Mame Downes — played by Journeé Smollett — is a fictional character.
Another real HBCU sports connection had a smaller role in ‘The Burial.’
Xavier Mills appeared briefly as one of several witnesses against the Loewen Corporation detailing how the company took advantage of poor and black people. Mills played college basketball at Winston-Salem State University before starting his acting career.
“The Burial” starring Jamie Foxx, is available now on Prime video.