Affirmations

Black gay sexuality. Now if there is an invisible population or subject on television or film I don’t know… One man trying to give voice to the voiceless has been filmmaker Marlon Riggs. An artist and a member of that population.

There is a double barrel approach here in that Riggs does not only look at black gay sexuality, but the place of gay black males in the black community. The assertion is that queerness has not been given a space within the black community. They are victims of multiple isms on many fronts from many populations. His feelings of invisibility and outsiderness are palpable.

Powerfully one of the last parts of the film is text scrolling across the screen which says: “I dream a world where homosex, desire, affection, love, no longer invite prosecution. I dream an end to silences that kill. I dream a slave song, a freedom anthem, voices, ancient, yet alive, lifting my life, yours, to new visions of liberation. I dream freedom, no longer needing to ask or witness what happens to dreams deferred?” Black men have been telling us their dreams for decades, if not centuries. And we still do not listen.

Originally released in 1990, this was probably one of the only, if not the only, film of its type.

The short film is available on OVID.

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