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Documentary highlights black, LGBT issues

Many students and faculty members from the university came to Woodland Mall Cinema yesterday evening to support the screening of “The New Black.”

The documentary covered the topic of how religion plays a part in how the black community views gay marriage, and same-sex relationships in general.

Senior Shaunda Brown requested that the film be screened at Woodland Mall and her request was fulfilled.

“We really need to be informed,” Brown said. “Even if it doesn’t have a direct effect on you, it still effects you.”

Some students were not completely sure of what to expect from the film, but were interested in finding out.

“I’m so excited to be here,” junior Tiffany Suscheck said. “I’m in the queer people and color class with Shaunda and she’s awesome so I wanted to come and see what it was about.”

The film was centered around the passing of a law in Maryland in 2012 that made gay marriage legal. It showed not only the perspectives of those who supported the passing of the law, but the perspective of those who were in opposition to it as well.

Reactions from the audience varied from light laughter to shocked gasps through out the film. Some students appreciated the location of the screening as well as the message.

“I’m very happy that this film was shown here,” senior Bianca Thomas-Veal said. “I do wish I saw more black heterosexual faces here.”

Audience members stuck around after the film was over to share their reactions to some of the things that affected them while they were watching the film.

“We have these conversations, but they never come together,” Brown said in reference to the separation of race, religion and homosexuality.

The different attitudes that were presented towards same-sex relationships and gay marriage throughout the film gained strong reactions from the audience, including Brown.

“The biggest thing that stuck out to me was the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ of the black community,” Brown said. “The black community doesn’t want to talk about it.”

Jasmine Cogdell was among many students in the audience who were shocked by some of the things they saw during the film.

“There were some really tense moments,” Cogdell said. “To see people feeling so strongly about something that you don’t even understand is so unfair.”

As far as the response from the crowd and the amount of people that supported the event, Brown was happy with the turn out.

“I’m excited, it went really well,” Brown said, “I’m glad people felt that it was worth the $12 they spent.”

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