The Village Voice: The New Black Director Yoruba Richen on Gayness in Black Life: It’s a “Difficult Conversation”

February 12, 2014

That point is powerfully illustrated in filmmaker Yoruba Richen’s documentary The New Black. Inspired by the scapegoating of the African-American community following the passing of California’s anti-gay-marriage bill, Proposition 8, in 2008, and anchored in Maryland’s marriage equality battle of 2012, the film unravels the threads connecting religion, homophobia, race, racism, and the desperate power plays of the American religious and political right. Crucially, it does so while illuminating a complexity of thought and being still rarely granted black folks in American film.

The responses she’s gotten on the festival circuit underscore how rare that is. Richen tells the Voice, “People have said things like, ‘I brought my whole family to see this film so that we can start to talk about me being gay,’ and, ‘This the first time I am seeing my experience portrayed on film.’”

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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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