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African-American Documentary Films on DVD in the Leavey Library: Gender/Sexuality Issues

Gender/Sexuality Issues



Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project
"This documentary tells the story of Sakia Gunn, a 15-year old African American lesbian who was fatally stabbed in gay hate crime in Newark, New Jersey. The Sakia Gunn Film Project depicts the hate and homophobia that caused this murder to occur and questions the lack of media coverage of the murder of a Black gay teenager... The story unfolds with the testimonies of Sakia's family and friends during the sentencing hearing of the murderer. The hearing is inter-cut with interviews of LGBT community leaders, opinions of people in the community, interviews of Sakia's best friend, Valencia, and exclusive footage of Sakia's vigil..."

Frederick Douglass and the White Negro
"This film tells the story of Frederick Douglass and 'his escape from slavery, leading to refuge in Ireland at the peak of the Great Famine. The film focuses on the powerful influence Ireland had on him as a young man. It also explores the turbulent relationship between African Americans and Irish Americans in general.'"

"...provides a comprehensive lens through which to examine the impact of sexual violence on black women and girls -- calling to task in particular the behaviors and attitudes of black men in reinforcing a cultural assault ... No! includes messages from violence prevention advocates as well as testimonials from survivors who defy victimization ..." -- Container

The New Black
"This award-winning documentary boldly examines the controversial and challenging issues facing African American communities on gay civil rights, campaigns for/against marriage equality and in particular the role of faith institutions. The film makes a compelling case that the fight for LGBT rights in Black communities is an extension of the Black Freedom Struggle."

On the Downlow
"Uncomfortable with being termed gay, as it doesn't correspond with their concept of Black masculinity, four men live 'on the downlow' - straddling two seemingly incompatible worlds - one life on the surface, and another that is hidden below."

A Place of Rage
"Prominent black women comment upon experiences of Afro-American women, upon racial discrimination and its effects upon the American culture and make suggestions which they hope will improve the future. Includes historical footage of civil rights movement in the 1960's."

Portrait of Jason
"The subject and constant object of this film is male prostitute Jason Holliday giving a stream-of-consciousness 'confession' of his life. He performs a pas de deux with the process of making the film: questions from the director and crew are heard, the crew laughs with him at his jokes, at times the camera runs out of film but the sound continues, with black leader replacing the picture. The film itself was shot over a twelve-hour period. Jason recounts tales from his life that define his identity. He describes how he changed his name to change his identity; work he held in the past as a houseboy to wealthy people; his homosexuality and the gay subculture in San Francisco and New York; visits to a psychiatrist; his love for alcohol; his aspiration to be a nightclub entertainer. He gives examples of his nightclub act, imitating female entertainers and movie roles such as Mae West and Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the wind. Towards the end, he is accused by an off-screen voice of being a liar. This brings him to tears, pleading to be loved. The filmmaker's voice ends the film by saying 'The end'."

Tongues Untied
"In an experimental amalgam of rap music, street poetry, documentary film, and dance, a gay African-American man expresses what it is like to be gay and black in the United States. Although he deals with social ostracism and fear of AIDS, he affirms the beauty and significance of the gay black man."




U People: LGBT Rockumentary
"In a Brooklyn brownstone, thirty women and trans folks of color participated in the creation of Hanifah Walidah's Make a Move music video. Cameras were left rolling. U People is an accidental documentary of discussion and dialogue among the women between shots for the music video."