Watch Guggenheim fellow Yoruba Richen's Short Doc On The Black Vote For Gay Marriage

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 2, 2012 11:20 AM
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A short doc from filmmaker Yoruba Richen - a name we've mentioned quite often on this site; most recently, she was honored with the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access for her upcoming new documentary, The New Black, which explores "the complicated histories of the African American and LGBT civil rights movements.

The New Black is planned for release in 2013. You can follow the film's progress at its Facebook page.

This short doc titled The Black Vote for Gay Marriage, focused on pastors with opposing views on same-sex marriage, and the influence of African Americans on a ballot initiative in Maryland set for next week.

In the filmmaker's words:

Now this issue [the complicated relationship between the African-American and gay civil rights movements] is playing out in Maryland. In February, the State Legislature passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. And just as with Proposition 8 in California, opponents to this bill collected enough signatures to put it on the ballot next week. But there are some key differences from California’s experience: this will be the first time a gay-marriage referendum is on the ballot in a state with such a high percentage of African-Americans. This will also be the first vote on gay marriage since President Obama and the nation’s pre-eminent civil rights organization, the N.A.A.C.P., came out last spring in support of marriage equality. Both faced a backlash from some African-Americans, especially those in the religious community. But no matter which side you are on, the gay marriage question in the black community has forced a conversation, which is taking place in the pulpits and the pews, the hair salons and barbershops — and ultimately at the ballot box.

Richen (also a 2012 Guggenheim fellow) made the documentary for the New York Times, and was published on their website yesterday. It is part of a series by independent filmmakers who have received grants from the BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute.

Watch it in full below:

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