*TV One’s original film “White Water” starring Larenz Tate and Sharon Leal airs Saturday, February 7 at 8pm ET. “White Water” is a riveting and culturally relevant film exploring the complex experience of a child’s first encounter with racial tension during the civil rights era.
Based on true events and set in Opelika, Alabama, during the summer of 1963, “White Water” is an imaginative tale of Michael (Amir and Amari O’Neil), a seven-year-old black child who becomes obsessed with the desire to taste water from the “whites only” drinking fountain. Michael sets out on a quest to do the unthinkable: to drink from it. His loving and protective mother, Annie (Sharon Leal), and free-spirited father, Terrance (Larenz Tate), learn of Michael’s obsession with tasting the “white water” and make several attempts to steer him away from this risky adventure. All of Michael’s friends, the local police and the KKK are also against Michael’s mission.
His unwavering determination to ignore racial limitations leads him to finally understand the true dangers of his quest. During the film, Michael applies a child’s logic to decipher the conventions of racism. His insights are consistently more practical than the logic of the closed-minded adults that created the customs of the segregated South, but as Michael quickly matures, he must consider whether the risks involved are worth the reward.
View a ‘”White Water”clip here
Close up ~ Tate and Leal:
Larenz Tate (“Terrance”)
Tate got his first acting job at a young age, appearing in a Christmas episode of The Twilight Zone – The Series. Tate made his silver screen debut in the cult classic film Menace II Society, where his role as O-DOG allowed him to be recognized as one of Hollywood’s most promising young actors.
The film led to his being cast in many other projects, including the feature films The Inkwell and Dead Presidents. Tate went on to star in the “audience-loved” film Love Jones, and then took on challenging roles in popular biopics: as Frankie Lymon in Why Do Fools Fall In Love and music legend Quincy Jones in the Academy Awards(r)-recognized film Ray. Returning to television, Tate starred in the series Blue Bloods, Rescue Me and Rush, and will be seen in the upcoming season of House of Lies.
Sharon Leal (“Annie”)
After moving to New York, Leal landed major roles on Broadway in Miss Saigon, Rent and Bright Lights, Big City, and went on to produce an original production of Stormy Weather, in which she starred as the legendary Lena Horne. Her television credits include series regular roles on Hellcats and Boston Public.
Leal’s guest-starring roles include episodes of Suits, Perception, Person of Interest and CSI: Miami. Sharon received international attention as a co-star in the blockbuster film Dreamgirls. Leal went on to star in the box office hit Why Did I Get Married? as well as This Christmas, Soul Men, Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The Seventh Day, Carry Me Home and 1982. Most recently, Leal stepped into a risky role as the star of Addicted.