Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Celebrate Black Queer Voices: Feb 24 - Marlon Riggs

The first person I am aware of that did films focused on black queer voices was Marlon Riggs.  Marlon was concerned about the lack of representation in films of LGBT African-Americans and he was concerned about the narratives in cinema that only told stories from a male focus and from a white focus.  He picked up the camera and introduced us to a world of folks that did not see things the way filmmakers up to that point did.

As a filmmaker, he created such groundbreaking works as Black Is, Black Ain't and Tongues Untied.  As a writer, he is most notably recognized for his anthology Brother to Brother: Collected Writings by Black Gay Men.  Today, black queer filmmakers and authors are commonplace.  But when I see cinema from creatives like Patrik Ian Polk, Maurice Jamal, Dee Rees and Lena Waite; and when I read books by E. Lynn Harris and James Earl Hardy, I know that Riggs was the prototype.

He was years ahead of his time. And I think his voice is still one that should be elevated when we celebrate Black History month.  Below is a rare interview with the brilliant man:

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