“…a portrait of what it means to be black, what it means to be gay, [and] what it means to be a Christian.”
— Peter Knegt, Indiewire.com
“The New Black is the best among several films that tangle with the role religion plays in the lives of America’s queers.”
— Mark Taylor, KQED Arts
Winner of the Audience Award at AFI Docs
UnionDocs will present Yoruba Richen’s film The New Black on July 14 at 7:30 pm as part of the BK@24FPS series. 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. 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. The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community.
This event is co-presented with Skylight
Director, Yoruba Richen
along with subject, Karess Taylor-Hughes and Jose-Michell Britto, advocate for homeless LGBTQ youth of color, will all be in attendance for discussion following the film.
is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the United States, Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. Yoruba’s award-winning film, Promised Land
, premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Festival and has screened at numerous festivals around the world. It received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and won the Fledgling Fund Award for Social Issue Documentary. Yoruba has produced for the investigative unit of ABC News and the independent news program Democracy Now. In 2007, Yoruba won a Fulbright Award in filmmaking and traveled to Salvador, Brazil, where she began production on Sisters of the Good Death, a documentary about the oldest African women’s association in the Americas and the annual festival they hold celebrating the end of slavery. In 2012, Yoruba won the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award and became a Guggenheim fellow. She is a graduate of Brown University and teaches Documentary film at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Karess Taylor-Hughes is a NY native who identifies as queer gender non-conforming (They/Them pronouns). Karess has years of experience working in political campaigns on LGBTQ rights. The activist earned their B.S. in Kinesiology from University of Maryland and their M.S. from Columbia University in Sports Management. Karess also has experience working in both intercollegiate and professional sports. Their interests lie in research on the intersections of race, gender and sexuality in physical culture and how it impacts our society. As a member and chapter co-chair of the Black Queer Feminist organization BYP100’s NYC chapter, Karess will continue to make progress by pushing to increase more advocacy work for marginalized communities.
Jose-Michell Brito, is a graduate of Bard College, with a major in Cultural Anthropology and focus on both Africana and Latin-American Studies; Michell has been working with youth since 2008 and is now working with Homeless Queer Youth in NYC. An Afro-Taino Black Global Citizen and a Cis Same Gender Loving Man, he stands with #BlackLivesMatter and is all about the RAGE! He serves intelligent anti-intellectual dialogue, anti-supremacist oppression rage, he is mad pro-black, and a lover of all things Spiraling. You can find him on: The Spiral Tv with a lot more to come in the near future.
Skylight Pictures’ monthly Brooklyn-based screening series, BK@24FPS, highlights documentary films as a way to to expand dialogue around the intersection of human rights and art. Born out of a three-way collaboration between Skylight, UnionDocs, and WITNESS, these monthly events aim to strengthen the ties between people interested in human rights in Brooklyn and will consist of, a 10-part series of film screenings followed by a partner-moderated discussion between the filmmaker, movement actors, and the audience. During our discussions we will debate the conventional framework for human rights and challenge the definition of what constitutes human rights media.
WITNESS is an international organization that trains and supports people using video in their fight for human rights. WITNESS trains and supports activists and citizens around the world to use video safely, ethically, and effectively to expose human rights abuse and fight for human rights change.