U People Film Screening and Talkback with Director Hanifah Walidah

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012
7:00pm—9:00pm, Brooks-Rogers Hall

U People (2006) is an incidental documentary exploring issues of ethnicity, gender identification, family, arts and activism in contemporary black queer women’s communities. The first ‘rockumentary’ of its kind, U People brings viewers behind the scenes of a not-so-typical music video shoot for out black lesbian artist Hanifah Walidah’s single “Make A Move,” which debuted on LOGO’s Click List in January of 2007. Directed by Walidah and Olive Demetrius, the film was culled from 20 hours of downtime footage of an unprecedented cast and crew of thirty queer women, straight women and transpeople of color between the ages of 25 and 35, living in New York City. What the camera caught introduces the hilarious, heartbreaking, candid and very human voices of young queer women of color into discussions of gender, race and humanity.

Regularly aired on MTV’s LOGO network since its debut, U People became the first LGBT film to be screened at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN in October of 2009, creating a much needed bridge between the gay rights movement and its relationship with the larger black-American populace. Since then, it has become a cultural movement, impacting the lives of black queer women, women of color, LGBT people, and many others across the globe. It has won several international festival awards, including the Jury Award for Best Documentary in the 2008 Image Nation Film Festival, the Audience Choice Award in the 2009 Paris De Les Femenists Film Festival in Paris, and a Most Outstanding Documentary nomination in the 2010 GLAAD Media Awards.

 Hanifah Walidah is a musician, playwright, and social arts activist. Her twenty-year career has taken an ethnographic approach to the arts to create film, music, and stage works that help foster social change. Recent projects include U People and the nationally noted Black Folks’ Guide to Black Folks, a one-woman show and feature-length film imagining and stimulating conversations among queer and straight communities of color in the contemporary U.S. She is a founding member of the New York City women of color theatre cabaret, Rivers of Honey, and tours internationally with the neofunk band The Brooklyn Funk Essentials. Information and album downloads available at www.suckaforlife.com

Sponsored by the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, the Lecture Committee, the Department of Africana Studies, the Multicultural Center, the Dively Center, the Department of English, the Department of American Studies, and the Department of Theatre.