Free Screening of "The New Black" in North Little Rock on May 6

Apr 29, 2014

UALR Public Radio, The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), and William F. Laman Library invite the public to a free screening of The New Black as part of Community Cinema. The event will take place Tuesday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. The screening will be held in Room 126 of the Laman Library.

Election Day in Maryland


The New Black follows the black community as it grapples with the gay rights issue in light of the recent same-sex marriage movement. Following the struggle over marriage equality in the state of Maryland, the film explores how the battle for the hearts and minds of black voters – who compose almost a third of the state’s electorate – is fought from the pulpit. Through the stories of activists, families and clergy on both sides of the debate, the film charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community.

Focusing on the aftermath of the Maryland legislature’s passage of a law allowing same-sex marriage in 2012, The New Black examines how opponents of the law geared up to put the issue before the voters through a ballot referendum – a strategy that had defeated same-sex marriage in other states. On one side, supporters of same-sex marriage included a number of black ministers who believed they were challenging homophobia in the black church. Opposing them were other ministers who believed that gay marriage violated religious principles and who disagreed with placing the issue in the context of civil rights. Against this backdrop, the documentary traces the historical importance of the church to the black community and explores the personal stories of those who, although raised in the church, felt unwelcome when they identified themselves as gay.


The screening will be held in room 126 of William F. Laman Public Library, 2801 Orange Street, North Little Rock. A community discussion led by Cornelius Mabin, Jr., community co-chair of the Arkansas HIV Prevention Group, will follow the screening. Additional information is available by calling AETN at 800-662-2386 or visiting