On the same night that Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, Proposition 8 overturned same-sex marriage in California, leaving many in the LGBT community heartbroken. The media blamed the outcome on the African-American vote, and anti-gay prejudice held within the African-American community, but was this really the case?
"African Americans did vote for it, but in the same proportion that other groups voted for it," says filmmaker Yoruba Richen. "Black LGBT voices were left in the dust and completely ignored"
In Yoruba Richen's new documentary The New Black, she compares this night in California with a very different night four years later when. after a hotly contested race, Maryland became one of the first states to legalize same-sex marriage by election ballot.
Richen examines how both pro and anti-equality campaigners worked with and within the Black Church and how Black LGBT people went beyond simple cliches to engage their community for a positive result. Catch The New Black on PBS this coming Sunday! For more on LGBT rights, check out our recent interview with trans* activist CeCe McDonald. For more on organizing, have a look at our interview with Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy Ana Maria Archila.