Published on Jun 27, 2013
http://www.democracynow.org - We continue our coverage of gay marriage and equal rights with a new film that explores the divisions among African-Americans on the issue of marriage equality. Despite longstanding opposition from church leadership, the documentary looks at how the black church played a critical role in the passage of the Maryland vote upholding marriage equality in 2012. Set to air on PBS next year, "The New Black" has just won the audience award at AFI Docs and this weekend plays at Frameline, the nation's largest LGBT film festival, in San Francisco. We're joined by the film's director, Yoruba Richen. "The black church is a big factor in Maryland," Richen says. "[After] they really engaged, I think that's how come you saw the outcome in Maryland, which for the first time the public voted to uphold marriage equality."
You Are Not Alone |
Depression in Black Gay Men
As the out gay writer of the time Bruce Nugent said, “You did what you wanted to. Nobody was in the closet. There wasn't any closet.”
Symbol of the Same Gender Loving Movement
The mid-1990s marked the height of the Same Gender Loving Movement, a time when men and women of African descent adopted this identifier as an alternative to “gay.” The movement is attributed to the work of Cleo Manago, an advocate for self-identification, HIV prevention and health promotion, and community building. SBC (a black gay publication by noted author Stanley Bennett Clay, currently out of print), shared a photograph of the Bawabu, the “official” symbol of the Same Gender Loving movement.
If I recall, there was a contest for entries. The article showcased the designer, as well as information about the symbol.
The Bawabu was first displayed June 28, 1998 at a community debate of homosexuality in the Black community in Los Angeles, CA. Olu Kwasi Osei created the symbol to reflect the “self-identification of Afrika-centered Black conscious homosexuals.”
Same Gender Loving ancestors were honored or recognized by their societies as being the ‘gatekeepers’ to the ethereal world. It was believed that this spiritual world could be entered through a series of doors or ‘gates.’ The unique ability to grant entrance into the spiritual world was derived in part, from the ‘gatekeepers’ sexual orientation.”
The SGL symbol, the Bawabisi, is inspired by Nigerian Nsibidi script and West African Adrinkra symbols. The two facing semi-circles represent unity and love. The figure has been split symmetrically in half to suggest parts of a whole that mirror each other. Dots are often used in Adinkra symbols to represent commitment and pluralism. The split and dots, with the addition of color, suggest the concept of gender. The circle encompassing the figure reinforces the idea of connectedness despite duality, suggesting the idea of two-spirited.