The Burton Wire: Is Gay ‘The New Black?’ Award-Winning Filmmaker Yoruba Richen Answers

February 3, 2014

Yoruba Richen is the delightful, thought-provoking director, producer and writer behind the critically acclaimed documentary, ‘The New Black.’ Her 75-minute intimate portrait offers cinematic seats around the dinner table, in church pews, on the front stoop and at the voting polls to explore same-sex marriages and homophobia in the African American community.

Richen’s riveting work dates back to 2008 when President Obama was elected. Almost simultaneously, Proposition 8 revoked gay marriage in California. A curious Richen immediately noticed that black voters were being blamed for the ban on marriage equality being passed. She wondered why a marginalized black LGBT community was continuously ostracized from the conversation.

“These two groups were being pitted against each other. As a documentary filmmaker, I started to ask these questions about why this was happening. I had a sense this issue had bubbled up to the top of the national political agenda. I thought it would make a very interesting film to see how these relationships were trying to be repaired,” says Richen via phone interview.


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The New Black

The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights. Continue Reading

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