Released in 2013, The New Black is a documentary that examines the African-American community’s diverse responses to the movement for LGBTQ equality.
Last week, The New Black began streaming on Netflix, making the film more accesible than ever before.
Director Yoruba Richen began thinking about the film in November 2008, as the stereotyoe of black homophobia gained traction in our national dialogue after the passage of California’s Proposition 8.
In a Believe Out Loud blog about the making of the film, Richen explains that an “erroneous CNN exit poll laid the blame for the passage of Proposition 8 squarely at the feet of California’s black voters, and by extrapolation, the African American community in general.”
In response, Richen began working on a film that would bring individuals with a multitude of perspectives into conversation. The final product is a film that provides much-needed nuance to our dialogue about the black community, the black church, and LGBTQ equality.
In addition, The New Black offers an online facilitator guide, which provides important context and raises thought provoking questions to encourage viewers to think more deeply as they watch this film.
In a statement about the film’s release on Netflix, Director Yoruba Richen shares: “The New Black is incredibly timely in this moment, as we find ourselves having a national dialogue on racial equality, racism and our system of criminal injustice, police brutality in the black community, the growing momentum of #BlackLivesMatter, the Supreme Court’s dismantling of the Voting Rights Act, efforts to pass anti-LGBT Religious Freedom Restoration Acts and other conservative and evangelical pushback against LGBT rights gains.”
“Having the documentary available via Netflix will allow greater access to the film for both those who are already deeply engaged with these issues as well as others who are just beginning to understand the complex and intertwining relationships between race, faith, sexuality and social justice.”
Sharon Lettman-Hicks, the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, is a key subject in the film. She adds: “The making of The New Black changed my life! It was a critical piece of our work at the National Black Justice Coalition that demonstrated the challenges of living at the intersection of racial justice and LGBT equality in an amazing, storytelling way. Many colleagues and friends shared their stories and life work during the production of this documentary and deserve this day to see their voices made available to the masses. What a BLESSING! The New Black is much more than a political documentary. It tells the story of lived experiences of being black and LGBT, and the challenging conversations within black spaces in dealing with the evolution of LGBT equality.”
We celebrate The New Black’s release on Netflix and encourage both individuals and groups to view and dicuss this groundbreaking documentary.
Photo via The New Black’s Online Facilitator Guide