News from AllianceQ: October 2013

The New Black

The New Black, a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues, is proud to team up with Tugg, a web-based platform that will enable churches and faith-based groups to host movies in their local theaters. Kicking off on National Coming Out Day, October 11, the screenings are part of an ongoing campaign to open the dialogue around marriage equality and civil rights in communities across the nation.

The New Black documents activists, families and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize the freedom to marry. It 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. Directed and produced by Yoruba Richen, The New Black takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets 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.

The film is currently on the festival circuit where it has received enthusiastic reviews and garnered several audience awards

“We’re at a historic moment where LGBT issues are at the forefront of the national debate,” says Richen. “It’s an honor for The New Black to be a part of the conversation. Partnering with an innovative platform like Tugg allows us to bring this film and important discussion to theaters and communities across the country.”

Among its dynamic cast, the film follows Rev. Delman Coates, a pastor at Maryland’s Mount Ennon Baptist Church and outspoken champion for LGBT equality; Pastor Derek McCoy, president of the Maryland Family Alliance and Maryland Family Council, which are organizations opposing marriage for gay and lesbian couples; and openly gay musician Anthony Charles Williams II, formerly known under the gospel moniker Tonéx.

“This film is critical for African-American people of faith because while it powerfully portrays the courage, determination and humanity of persons on both sides of this controversial issue, it also uncovers the homophobia and heterosexism that continue to plague and divide black churches, families and communities,” says Reverend Dennis W. Wiley, Ph.D., Pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington, D.C. “In the final analysis, it makes a compelling case that gay rights are indeed civil rights, that all citizens deserve equal justice under the law, and that every human being is a child of God.”

For more information about The New Black and hosting a screening, visit http://www.newblackfilm.com/.