BLACK AS U R
DIRECTOR: Micheal Rice
2022 | USA | 84 mins
Do all Black lives matter, or only heterosexual Black lives? This is the question theater and film director Micheal Rice powerfully explores in this deep, necessary dive into the intertwined damage of racism and homophobia within Black communities. Brilliantly weaving together history and contemporary lived experience on the streets of America, Rice revisits gay civil rights icons James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin, interviews preachers and professors, and talks to Black trans youth. He adds his own experience to the mix, with home movies and reflections on growing up Black and gay in the South. In one memorable sequence, Rice visits a Black barbershop for a frank discussion of the prejudices many of its patrons cling to.
As Frameline46’s Juneteenth screening, BLACK AS U R unfolds against a tumultuous backdrop of protestors chanting “Let him breathe,” Trump in Tulsa, and newscasters reporting on COVID deaths. While some of this recent history may seem blessedly remote, Rice’s courageous focus on those who are doubly marginalized as both Black and LGBTQ+ is as urgent as ever.
BLACK AS U R is the first recipient of Frameline’s annual Out in the Silence Award, which is given to an outstanding film project that highlights brave acts of LGBTQ+ visibility in places where such acts are not common.