The New Black

June 16, 2014
10:00am Pacific Time
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Hello everyone and welcome to this OVEE screening of Independent Lens' of The New Black. This online discussion is hosted by Women and Girls Lead & Maryland Public Television.

Join us for the online premiere of the full film right here:

Watch the trailer here:

Video Descriptions

Black Folk Don't: Get Married

It seems like now a days it's hard to find black folk who are ready and willing to say I do, at least that's what all the media coverage about single black women says. Is this a generational issue or are black folk allergic too long term commitment? Or are they just committing in different ways outside the mainstream?

The New Black

Centering on the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland, The New Black looks at how the African American community grapples with the divisive gay rights issue. The film documents activists, families, and clergy on both sides of the campaign to legalize gay marriage, and charts how attitudes evolve on the streets, in the pews, and at the kitchen table.

61min 12sec



  • Yoruba Richen

    Yoruba is a documentary filmmaker who has directed and produced films in the U.S. and abroad including Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. Her latest film The New Black premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June and went on to win Audience Awards at AFI Docs and Philly Q Fest and Frameline LGBT Film Festival as well as a special jury mention at Frameline.

  • Karess Taylor-Hughes

    Karess is originally from Long Island New York. At the age of 24 she already has years of experience working in political campaigns. She was a field organizer for Equality Maryland and The Human Rights Campaign. Karess currently attends Columbia University, where she is pursuing her Masters degree in Sports Management. She will continue to make progress as she pushes to increase more advocacy work for underrepresented communities.

  • Sharon Lettman-Hicks

    Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks serves as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), which is a national civil rights organization dedicated to empowering black LGBT people. NBJC's mission is to end racism and homophobia. As America's leading national black LGBT civil rights organization focused on federal public policy, NBJC has accepted the charge to lead black families in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBT equality. For more information about NBJC, visit

  • Samantha Master

    amantha is a 25 year old student at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Samantha currently serves as the Youth and Campus Outreach Intern for the Human Rights Campaign and aspires to one day serve as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Howard University. She originally began working on the marriage equality campaign in Maryland in 2007 as a volunteer with Equality Maryland because Black LGBT people—especially Black LGBT people in the South—are deeply important to her, and she wanted people to see people who looked like her—when they thought about LGBT people. She also got involved because she believes this battle is only the first step in the fight for LGBT-liberation.

  • Cornelius Moore

    Co-Director, California Newsreel. California Newsreel is a non-profit film distribution organization that specializes in films from Africa and the African diaspora. It is one of the oldest and most notable independent media distributors in the United States.

  • yoruba

  • Sharon Lettman-Hicks

  • Samantha Master

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.