Black is…Black Ain’t, a documentary film produced and directed by Marlon T. Riggs. C2004. Library Call Number: E185.625.B5556 2004 (0The second film in recognition of Black History Month.)
When Barack Obama began his run for the Presidency in 2007, there was much talk in the African-American community on whether or not he was ”black enough.” Everyone from Al Sharpton to Jesse Jackson to the Fox news talking heads had their opinion of a half African, half white American being raised in Kansas and Hawaii by his white mother and grandparents. But for many white Americans, the debate was mystifying. What exactly did that mean? This documentary attempts to explain. As the film synopsis says:“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.’”
Awards: Sundance Film Festival Filmmaker's Trophy, 1995.