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September 29, 2023

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“The New Black” deals with issues in black community

A documentary covering race, religion and sexual orientation is bound to be controversial, but it also has the power to bring important social issues to the forefront.

“The New Black” will be shown at the Woodland Mall Cinema on Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. The film is about gay rights issues in the black community and homophobia in the black church.

Senior Shaunda Brown arranged for the film to be shown because it covers a topic she feels needs to be discussed.

“I saw a conversation that wasn’t being talked about on campus,” Brown said. “A lot of students have issues talking about it because of the religious aspect.”

When she began to promote the event, people weren’t surprised that the film was being screened, but about where it was being screened.

“I didn’t want to have it screened on campus because I wanted it to be a community conversation,” Brown said. “We’re all students but the community also makes up our experience here as well.”

When her request to have the film viewed at the movie theater in Woodland Mall was accepted, she was just as surprised as her peers.

“I was completely like ‘this is not happening,’” Brown said. “I was in complete disbelief because I’ve been here long enough to know they don’t really have black movies at all.”

The acceptance of the request was only the beginning. Her next goal for the screening was to sell 104 tickets, which would fill the theater.

“I feel like if they were even willing to say yes, I needed to make it happen,” Brown said.

Students like sophomore Luke Zona think the screening of this film is a great thing.

“I think it’s great that she was able to do that,” Zona said. “It’s helping to do what’s right for human rights.”

Other students weren’t aware that the film was being screened, but are interested in going.

“A lot of things like that aren’t shown in BG,” sophomore Zack Sturkey said. “I think it’s great. I would go see it.”

Brown expects people to be caught off guard by the film. She was shocked herself when she first saw the film at a conference.

“Even being from what would be called a stereotypical black community, I had moments throughout the film where I was like ‘whoa,’” Brown said.

She hopes that people will be inspired by the film, and take away a positive message.

“I want people to understand the spaces that they are in and call their own, and then challenge those notions,” Brown said.

Tickets can only be purchased online at for $12 prior to Feb. 19.

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