ADIFF 2019 LGBTQ Program – Films, Discussion & Reception

  • 247 mins

The African-American LGBTQ+ community is part of the overall LGBTQ+ culture and overall African American culture. Black gay right activists, like Marsha P. Johnson, were prominent figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969, which vastly affected the trajectory of the LGBTQ+ community.

While the normalization of LGBTQ+ rights has made tremendous progress nationwide, the African-American LGBTQ population disproportionately suffers from marginalization due to external factors such as systematic social injustices against Black people in general, but also due to divisions within its own community with religion playing an important role in hindering normalization of Black LGBTQ+ people’s life.

In 2009, LGBTQ+ people in Brazil represented 8.35% of the Brazilians according to a survey conducted by the University of São Paulo. The election of right wing Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro this year has led to repressive measures against LGBTQ+ people, including the removal of the legal protection status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people.

While prior to British colonialism, Indian social norms seemed to integrate homosexual and third gender people within society, homophobia is strong in India today. According to a 2014 DNA India article, mental, physical, emotional and economic violence against LGBTQ+ community in India prevail.

ADIFF’s LGBTQ+ program presents four films around these issues to contribute to a better understanding of the life experience of LGBTQ people of color in the USA and beyond.

Pixelia from India is a very sensitive love story between two people who meet by chance and develop a connection that is so natural that mutual acceptance is immediate. Blackn3ss is an afro-futurist, poetic celebration of Queerness in Brazil.  The New Black and Thicker Than Blood explore the political and personal reality of being LGBTQ in the Black Community in the USA.  The directors of these last two films will participate in a panel on the topic “Being LGBTQ in the Black Community” after the screening of Thicker Than Blood.  The day will conclude with a catered reception.

1:30PM | Blackn3ss & Pixelia

3:30PM | The New Black – Q&A

5:30PM | Thicker Than Blood – Q&A

Followed by

PANEL "Being LGBTQ in the Black Community"
* ANTHONY L. WILLIAMS, Director Thicker Than Blood
* YORUBA RICHEN, Director The New Black
Moderated by BRIAN ALLEN
Born and raised in the Midwest, Brian Allen (He, him, his) is a descendant of Africans, and by way of Atlantic Slave Trade, many of his ancestors come from the South–Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. After completing his Bachelor’s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in English Linguistics and Spanish Language, he moved to New York City for graduate school to discover ways to better support underrepresented college students.  Brian has professional experience in diversity, multicultural, and student affairs, having worked in offices at private/public institutions, and graduate/community colleges in the NYC area.

In this program

Blackn3ss (Brazil)

Directed by Diego Paulino

Between melanin and far away planets, Blackn3ss is a journey into the lives of Sao Paulo Black youth. An exploration of blackness, queerness and spatial aspirations for the children of the Diaspora.

Pixelia (India)

Directed by Ratheesh Ravindran

Kumar, a bachelor in his thirties leaves his corporate job in Kochi to become a graphic novelist. He embarks on a new life as an Uber driver while working on his graphic novel titled ‘Pixelia’.

The New Black (USA)

Directed by Yoruba Richen

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.

Thicker Than Blood (USA)

Directed by Anthony L. Williams

Thicker Than Blood tells the story of Jordan, the youngest of two sons, who returns home for the first time in three years to celebrate his older brother’s promotion to partner in his law firm.

Dates & Times

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