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Films & Other Videos

Films with: Hemphill, Essex

Black is-- black ain't a personal journey through black identity /
American culture has stereotyped black Americans for centuries. Equally devastating, the late Marlon Riggs argued, have been the definitions of "blackness" African Americans impose upon one another which contain and reduce the black experience. In this film, Riggs meets a cross-section of African Americans grappling with the paradox of numerous, often contradictory definitions of blackness. He shows many who have felt uncomfortable and even silenced within the race because their complexion, class, sexuality, gender or speech has rendered them "not black enough," or conversely, "too black."
DVD 8988
Looking for Langston a meditation on Langston Hughes (1902-1907) and the Harlem Ranaissance : with the poetry of Essex Hemphill and Bruce Nugent (1906
A tribute to Langston Hughes, this film attempts to reclaim him as an important black gay voice in American culture.
DVD 5853
Tongues untied
In an experimental amalgam of rap music, street poetry, documentary film, and dance, a gay African-American man expresses what it is like to be gay and black in the United States. The film intercuts footage of poet Essex Hemphill reciting his poetry, Riggs telling the story of his growing up, and scenes of men interacting and dancing. Although he deals with social ostracism and fear of AIDS, Riggs affirms the beauty and significance of the gay black man.
DVD 4737