Film phase: Completed
The New Black 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. The film documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage and examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar — the black church, and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.
About the Director
Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. The New Black won Audience Awards at AFI Docs, Philly Q Fest, and Frameline LGBT Film Festival. It also won Best Documentary at the Urbanworld film festival and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a GLAAD Media Award. Yoruba’s previous film, Promised Land was broadcast on PBS’s POV in 2010. She was a featured speaker at TED 2014 and is the director of the documentary program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
The New Black won the Audience Award and Best Documentary Feature at AFI Docs, Philadelphia QFest, and Frameline LGBT Film Festival. The New Black was also nominated for an 2014 NAACP Image Award and a 2014 GLAAD Media Award, both for Outstanding Documentary. Leading up to the film’s broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens on June 15, 2014, The New Black will screen in more than 100 cities around the country through ITVS’s Community Cinema public education and civic engagement initiative. The New Black Freedom Summer Tour, which commemorates the 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer, will bring the film to traditional black spaces and ensure that LGBT rights are addressed in a way that is respectful while allowing for sensitive and powerful dialogue. Our outreach is based on a model of organizing that has the empowerment of black communities, faith communities, LGBT communities and their places of intersection.