Thursday, April 26, 2007

Black Gay Cinema

*Looking for Langston (Region 1 distributed by Strand Releasing is not recommended)
*Brother to Brother
*B Boy Blues
*DL Chronicles
*Rag Tag (British)
*Dakan (or Destiny) [Guinean (African)/French]
Note: Dakan is available here through California Newsreel but restrictions apply. Also, check region 2 dvd here from
*Finding Me

*Dirty Laundry
*Punks   &  Tall Skinny Black Boy Productions)
*Noah's Arc Seasons 1 and 2 (television)
*Blind Faith (Showtime Cable Television)
*Finding Me
*Finding Me:  Truth
*Finding Me the Series: Minisodes on YouTube

*Finding Me:  The Series (DVD coming 9/24/13)

*Men In Love (African/Ghanaian)
*Partly Cloudy
*Punch Me
*Nairobi Half Life (African/Kenyan>
*Leave It On The Floor

*THE SKINNY by Patrik-Ian Polk (due out Labor Day 2011; dvd release date ??)

Elliot Loves (Afro Latino)

The DL Chronicles (The Chadwick Journals)

Short Films on the Net:

**Blood (British) by Kolton Lee
**On the Low by Luther Mace
**Testify by Darius Clark Monroe
**Float (Bahamian; NOT BROTHERS LOVING BROTHERS) by Kareem Mortimar
**Souljah by Afro-Brit Rikki Beadle-Blair
**The Young & Evil by Julian Breece

The Young & Evil from Game Theory on Vimeo.

**Short Films by Kirk-Shannon Butts
**My Brother's Keeper (web series) by Lamont Pierre'
   This webseries may be viewed on YouTube
**Drama Queenz: The Series (web series;)
   web series may also be viewed on YouTube
**Billy & Aaron by Rodney Evans
**Animal Drill by Patrick Murphy
**Slow by Darius Clark Monroe

SLOW from Darius Clark Monroe on Vimeo.

Say My Name, a Muka Flicks U.K. Production
directed by Adaora Nwandu, written by KOFIKOFIKOFI.COM

Jr, has a passion for basketball, he even goes to sleep with his basketball. When faced with not being accepted for who is Dad is, he struggles to understand WHY?

InsideOUT is the story of a homeless and homophobic teen thug who finds refuge in the home of a same-gendered couple.

For these guys, their lives are enhanced, not defined, by their sexuality. Follow them as they share a living situation that becomes complicated both in and outside of their beds.  Go to YouTube to view episodes 2 and 3.


The urban gay and lesbian drama is back with more twists, turns, secrets, scandals, lies, and betrayals.

Steel River Web Episode 1
Steel River Web Episode 2 (below)

Ken, The Web Series by Eddie Griffith


Billy Turner's Secret

Billy and Rufus live together and share everything, except Billy's secret - he's gay. Rufus just isn't ready to deal with it: the only thing he hates more than a "faggot" is a "pushy woman." But when the cousin of Rufus' girlfriend drops by unexpectedly, it looks like Billy's secret might be out of the bag. Billy Turner's Secret is a hip, urban comedy, an inadvertent look at the connection between misogyny and homophobia, and among the first African-American films to deal with these subjects.

Documentary Film
***Woubi Cheri (Ivory Coast/French)
Produced by persons of non-African descent. First film to document same sex/gender attraction among Africans over continual protest that such desire is a foreign import.
***Hughes' Dream Harlem
***James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket
***Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
***Ring of Fire: The Emile Griffith Story (not produced by gay Afro American)
***Black Is...Black Ain't
***The Color of Courage
***Polymath, or the Life and Opinions of Samuel R. Delany, Gentleman
***Shades of Love: Black Homosexuality
***Starlight:  first black-owned gay bar

STARLITE trailer from sasha wortzel on Vimeo.

***You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone - Official Film Trailer from Dbgm Yana on Vimeo.
*******From Robert Philipson, director of Ma Raineys’ Lesbian Licks, is a future documentary about gays (mainly about black gays?) in the Harlem Renaissance. Ma Raineys' Lesbian Licks is to be part of the documentary.


FADE IN is a new documentary web series featuring the stories of homeless LGBTQ youth in New York City:

The series is designed not only to bring awareness to the fact that 35-40% of runaway or homeless youth in New York identify as being LGBTQ, but also to provide & promote a positive light forward for teens struggling with their identities due to personal, social, and familial factors.

Each episode of FADE IN is based around a particular virtue (e.g. beauty, acceptance, compassion, faith), with several youth discussing an uplifting story that relates to said virtue Through smiles and laughter, tears and heartbreak, these touching tales shine a light on the truths of those forced to live in darkness.

For more information on FADE IN, visit or subscribe to the Novo Novus Productions channel on YouTube. For more information on MCCNY/Sylvia's Place or to donate to aid homeless LGBTQ youth, visit

***Call Me Kuchu

In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato, Uganda’s first openly gay man, and retired Anglican Bishop Christopher Senyonjo work against the clock to defeat state-sanctioned homophobia while combatting vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes their movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world.

***Dear Dad


Dear Dad is a film that peeks into the lives of your friends, brothers, cousins, co-workers, sons, and uncles. You'll meet 8 diverse same gender loving men living in "Black Gay Mecca"; Atlanta, GA. The project aims to give same gender loving men a platform to tell their varying yet universal stories about their relationship with their father and how it has shaped them as men.

***Pier Kids

Pier Kids: The Life is a documentary by Elegance Bratton. It is about the homeless gay and transgender youth who call the Christopher Street Pier home.


Television history was made weeks ago when the first Afro American gay couple was featured during primetime viewing on a major network.   During its two season air date, the program titled The L.A. Complex incorporated a storyline involving an in-the-closet hip-hop artist named Kaldrick and his evolving relationships with two different black men, the first named Tariq during season 1 and the second named Chris during season 2.  The storyline became a favorite among viewers who in turn rewarded The L.A. Complex with devoted viewership.  Viewers embraced the unabashed portrayals of physical intimacy between the characters in this storyline.

Clips from Season 2 of The L.A. Complex

Taking Note

Honorary Mention: Spike Lee is mentioned here due to his inclusion of two characters in his mainstream film Get On The Bus that were Afro American gay lovers. Lee is perhaps the first black heterosexual director/writer to portray black gay men without parody. These two characters were written as multi-dimensional and self-confident men who just happened to be gay.

Special Mention: The Boys In The Band is the first gay mainstream film for a general audience to include a black gay character. The Band is based on the play by Mart Crowley, a white gay playwright.

The film's lone black character set the framework for how gay men of African descent continue to be portrayed in mainstream gay film largely today.  That is, continue to desire, prefer, and love white gay men almost exclusively.  

Outside the sexual and romantic interest, the most often lone black character occupies the role of comdian.  He is typically a comic stereotype who is loudmouth and sassy.

With some irony because of artistic and perhaps sexual temperament, a number of gay screenwriters and directors of African descent continue to solidify stereotypical portrayals of African Diaspora men as incapable of finding one another sexually, intellectually, and spiritually viable as a partners.

Special Mention #2: Strange Fruit by Kyle Schickner is a half black cast film by a white director. The reason the film is being mentioned here is because Schickner had difficulty with the distributors who took issue with the black on black story not involving a white romantic co-lead. Though commendable, Schickner does not entirely avoid white gay gaze.
Special Mention#3: The Wire. HBO (Home Box Office) made television (or cable television) history by presenting the first openly gay black male character who actually loved and desired other black men, the last season or two being a disappointing exception. The character Omar Little also challenged the stereotype over who is and isn't gay at various social-economic levels of black general culture. As written, Omar was drug dealing Robin Hood with a conscious.
Special Mention#4: Together Brothers (1974). Together Brothers came into being and was part of genre commonly referred to as "blaxploitation cinema." Stereotyped as "bad guys," the film features two offbeat, eccentric gay characters who are "married." One of the two men is a murderer of a good Afro American cop. His partner adorns the wardrobe of a woman and pushes a stroller with dolls supposedly representing and indicating their wish for children--a family. The home life of the gay couple attempts to imitate traditional heterosexual life. Though offbeat and offensive by today's political correct standards, Together Brothers is the first film of an era to show brothers loving brothers!

Note: Except for Rag Tag, Woubi Cheri and Dakan, all films listed here are by gay men of African descent. The Bayard Rustin documentary was executive produced by Afro American Sam Pollard. Some of these films have yet to be released on DVD. Others may never be released because of their black male on black male gay storyline. In the case of Looking for Langston distributed by Strand Releasing, DVD casing and the inclusion of a short film playing to prurient fetishistic interest marred the overall integrity of the film on the region 1 DVD.