The New Black

Producer Yvonne Welbon in person!
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago (CSRPC).

The New Black is an award-winning documentary directed by Yoruba Richen that captures the complex intersection between faith, racial justice and LGBT rights. With a focus on the campaigns for and against Maryland’s 2012 Question 6 ballot initiative, the film captures perspectives from both sides of the debate, while interweaving perspectives of everyday people grappling with their stance on the issues. Bolstered by an overarching analysis of the historic role of the black church as both a support system for black people, families and communities as well as a bastion of homophobic rhetoric, the film prompts viewers to confront the unique challenges facing black LGBT people in the United States. Moreover, it leaves us with a new understanding of inclusive democracy. Synopsis from the The New Black website.

Yoruba Richen is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Her latest film The New Black premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and went on to win Audience Awards at AFI Docs and Philly Q Fest and Frameline LGBT Film Festival as well as a special jury mention at Frameline. Yoruba has received numerous grants including from ITVS, The Sundance Documentary Fund, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and the Ford Foundation. She won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was also a Sundance producers’ fellow. Yoruba’s previous film Promised Land, received a Diverse Voices Co-Production fund award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and was broadcast on PBS’s POV in 2010. 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. Prior to that, Yoruba was the co-producer of Take it From Me, a documentary exploring the effects of welfare reform on New York City women, which was broadcast on POV in 2001. She was also an associate producer for the investigative unit of ABC News as well as a producer for the independent news program Democracy Now. Yoruba teaches documentary film at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and is a Guggenheim Fellow.