DVD and DVD + 3-Year Site/Local Streaming
74 minutes, 2013, SDH subtitled for the deaf or hard of hearing Producers: Yoruba Richen, Yvonne Welbon, Co-Producer: Angela Tucker. Director: Yoruba Richen. In association with ITVS, Ford Foundation/JustFilms and Chicken & Eggs Pictures An online FACILITATOR GUIDE is available for this title.
ABOUT THE FILM
This award-winning documentary boldly examines the controversial and challenging issues facing African American communities on gay civil rights, campaigns for/against marriage equality and in particular the role of faith institutions. The film makes a compelling case that the fight for LGBT rights in Black communities is an extension of the Black Freedom Struggle.
Director Yoruba Richen was inspired to make the film in response to erroneous reports that African American voters caused the passage of an anti-same sex marriage initiative in the 2008 California election. The film looks at other pro and anti-gay rights campaigns over the years and how right-wing groups have used the issue to make inroads in to black communities. It culminates in the 2012 electoral efforts to preserve - or reverse - marriage equality in Maryland, a state with a substantial African American population.
The film will be useful for teachers of various subjects and departments such as African American Studies, Gender Studies, Sociology, Religion and Political Science as well as those working in Student Services.
A study guide for the film is also available on the ITVS website.
Here is a recent TED Talk by director Yoruba Richen describing why she made the documentary. Yoruba also discusses the film in an interview with Independent Lens.
Please place all digital subscription and rental orders directly with those providers.
“Inspiring… The film is audacious in its personal biopics of issues facing Black LGBT communities, riveting in its story-telling, and powerful in its political authenticity.
From a social and political science perspective, it introduces viewers to the complex confluence of factors that impact the marriage equality debate, including demographics, styles and tactics of issue-based political campaigning and grassroots organizing, as well as high profile activism on behalf of LGBT rights in
communities of color. The documentary will be particularly attractive to academics, university administrators, and staff personnel. “A must-see for everyone.”
Ravi K. Perry, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Mississippi State University
“Far from 'airing dirty laundry', The New Black brings varying viewpoints together in honest and respectful dialogue. It challenges and expands our ideas about blackness and black struggle in 21st century America. An invaluable teaching tool with which to engage students in difficult conversations about race, sexuality, religion and politics."
- Leigh Raiford, African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley
"'Black' has always been a “New Black”; we are a remix people: complex, contradictory, diverse—in faith and fashion—and how and who we love. With The New Black, director Yoruba Richen brilliantly and courageously gives voice to yet another version of the mix: Black Freedom Fighters for whom the residue of race matters and color lines resonate not only at the polls, but in their bedrooms and their places of worship."
Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University
"By showing how one community struggles to reconcile its religious convictions with its love for its LGBT brothers and sisters, The New Black assails the myth that African Americans are more homophobic than other groups. Not since Marlon Riggs’ Black is, Black Ain’t have I been so riveted by a documentary."
E. Patrick Johnson, Northwestern University
"Accurately portrays both sides of the debate around same-sex marriage for a nuanced understanding of the issues facing black LGBT people as they live and worship in their racial communities. A great teaching tool for the classroom and for community organizations."
Mignon Moore, Prof. of Sociology and Vice Chair of Afro-American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
“A rare exploration of divergent views among African Americans about same-sex marriage. Stunningly balanced in its approach, the film illuminates familiar arguments on both sides of the issue. It avoids easy answers and invites serious reflection. Complex, nuanced, and compelling, the film makes an important contribution to Black political history.”
Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College
“Honest, insightful, poignant, and powerful, it elegantly and eloquently, speaks to the complexities of social movements, democracy, political organizing, grassroots mobilization and public opinion.”
Juan Battle, City University of New York
“Provocative and brilliant… Moves the discussion from the simplistic notion that Black Christian Faith necessarily opposes marriage equality for same-gendered couples and that Civil Rights is only about race.”
The Rev. Dr. Horace L. Griffin, Pacific School of Religion
“Captivating and unforgettable, The New Black is a film about two communities, one Black, one gay, both struggling with the legacy of oppression, and the complex truths of those who live in both worlds. For those concerned with the meaning of civil rights in the 21st century, this film is required viewing.”
Jelani Cobb, University of Connecticut
"How refreshing it is to see a film that cuts through all the rhetoric and hype about race, sexuality and religion in the U.S. It presents the complexities within African American communities that are engaged in grappling with a vitally important civil rights issue. The New Black is a gem."