The New Black tells the story of how the African American community is debating the marriage equality movement and the fight over LGBT rights. The features OUTmusic Awards winner Tonex aka B Slade.
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 — while exploring ways this phenomenon may have been exploited by political conservatives.
Yoruba Richen’s film takes us from New York to California to Maryland to document the multiple players in this debate, including gay gospel singer Tonex (who now goes by the stage name B.Slade), who shocks the host of Word Network’s “Lexi Show” as he describes his attraction to men.
The film also features Sharon Lettman-Hicks, the Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), as well as both a number of black ministers who are challenging homophobia in the black church, and some of the leading anti-gay black ministers as they fight efforts to advance gay rights, working to pass a ballot initiative in Maryland that would reverse the recently won right for gay couples to marry. Maryland has a 30% African-American population and both sides vie to win the black vote in the battle over the Question 6 ballot initiative.
The black community is having a wrenching conversation about homophobia as the gay rights debate is unfolding on the political stage and in the courts. But as the film shows, including with two young campaigners who find their feet in both worlds, there are many stories of those engaging from within. While the debate around gay rights has deepened some divides within the black community, it has also opened a space for new conversations about overcoming oppression for everyone.
Here's a sneak peak at the documentary film
"The New Black"
feat. recording astist Tonex aka B Slade