Black Is... Black Ain't

“Black Is… Black Ain’t” Cinematheque Screening

Feb 21, 2018
Wed, Feb 217:30pm – 9pm
Black Is... Black Ain't


Marlon Riggs’s final film, "Black Is...Black Ain't," jumps into the middle of explosive debates about black identity. Riggs explores in-house definitions of blackness debated by African-Americans. He questions whether an essential black identity exists and whether there is a litmus test defining the real Black man and true Black woman. Using gumbo and his AIDS-infected corporality as metaphors, Riggs traverses the country, bringing audiences face to face with Black folks young and old, rich and poor, rural and urban, gay and straight, grappling with the paradox of numerous, often contested definitions of blackness. Riggs mixes performances with critical commentary to create a flavorful stew of personal testimony, music, culture and history. "Black Is...Black Ain't" mounts a powerful critique of sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, and colorism within the black family and black church.


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