Post submitted by Samantha Masters, HRC Youth & Campus Outreach Assistant.

Congratulations are in order to the cast and crew of The New Black, Call Me Kuchu and Free Angela and All Political Prisoners—three documentaries touching on the lives of LGBT people of color that were nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Best Theatrical Documentary. Call Me Kuchu was also nominated for Best International Film.

The New Black—a documentary by veteran filmmaker Yoruba Richen—chronicles the myriad ways African American Marylanders engaged questions of identity, religion, and equality during Maryland’s Question 6 campaign—a referendum that would (dis)allow same-sex marriage in a state where African Americans make up an overwhelming bloc of the electorate. Richen unflinchingly dissects the myth of Black homophobia and exposes the real conversations that are happening on street corners, in pulpits and in Black communities around LGBT justice.

Uganda-based Call me Kuchu explores the lives of LGBT Ugandans following the murder of David Kato, a gay Ugandan activist who had been vocal against the country’s “Kill the Gays” bill that has been covertly championed by far-right American evangelicals.

Shola Lynch's Free Angela and All Political Prisoners offers a comprehensive look into the life of Angela Davis during the trial in which Davis was charged with kidnapping, murder and conspiracy in connection with the 1970 Soledad brothers attempted prison escape which resulted in five deaths. Davis—a professor at UCLA—would go on to exonerate herself and become an iconic freedom fighter for justice and radical change.

These films activate important conversations on advances, struggles and lives of LGBT people of color in the United States and globally. In both Maryland and Uganda, HRC has been a part of coalitions to support LGBT people.  Our Global Engagement team has worked tirelessly with activists in Uganda to combat anti-LGBT legislation. In Maryland, HRC helped leverage volunteers, legislators and organizational partnerships (including the NAACP) to help win marriage equality in the state.  We applaud the NAACP Image Awards for recognizing the importance of these stories, and hope they will continue to provide a platform where the lives and struggles of LGBT people of color can be recognized and honored.

Filed under: Media, Communities of Color

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