“The New Black”
When Proposition 8 was passed in California in 2008, many of the supporters of marriage equality blames the Black church leaders because they did not take same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue. Because of this there were even greater division between the LGBT movement and the Black community. It, in effect, was an oversimplification of the history of the African American attitude toward gay rights. “The New Black” shows how those attitudes have begun to change and here we get a look inside of the African American community and churches across the United States and how they react to same-sex equality.
The film takes the audience to barbecues, church meetings and campaign offices. We meet a diverse class of activists. Tonex is a gospel singer who suffered when he came-out and was excluded from his church community becoming an outcast. Reverend Delman Coates, a Baptist minister favors and champions same-sex marriage and Sharon Lettman-Hicks is the straight leader of the National Black Justice Coalition and has led Maryland’s 2012 campaign to gain LGBT marriage equality which she defines as “the unfinished business of Black people being free”. We see that there is respect for opposing perspectives and the film provides us with a new way of looking at the situation. Church teachings, traditions, social conscience and civil rights come together and even clash but we do now know what we have to work on.