Monday, March 09, 2015

Yoruba Richen of The New Black - Oxford College, Presbyterian College, and Creative City Collaborative

From filmmaker Yoruba Richen of The New Black:

Creative City Collaborative Screening
I was super excited to hit the south with my documentary The New Black. Though we have had screenings in the region, this would be the first time I was able to be there and participate in Q and As. The film tackles some pretty hot button issues (race, sexuality, religion) and I was very curious to see how folks in the south would engage with it.

The first stop was Oxford College it Georgia. It was probably the coldest day of the year - but that didn't prevent a packed house for the screening, followed by a really good discussion afterward. The next morning I had breakfast with the Black Student Association and we talked about many issues that the film brought up, including the intersection of being black and LGBTQ, to need for more African-American filmmakers out there telling our own stories, from our own perspectives. I then got on the road and drove to Clinton SC. It was a beautiful drive through the wintry back roads, and I enjoyed the peacefulness and quiet solitude - very different from my New York City life. In Clinton, I screened at Presbyterian College and again the cold weather didn't stop folks from coming out. It was great talking with the students about the role of religion in their lives and how that affected their views on marriage equality. What is interesting is how much folks are engaging in this issue all around the country and how the conversations are similar despite the differences in policy in each state. Next was Creative City Collaborative in Pompano Beach FL. The space was beautiful and the crowd energetic. It was amazing timing to be screening in the south as Alabama was grappling with the recent court order to allow same-sex marriage. This made for rich discussions in each of the venues and I'm so thankful that I got this opportunity