Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved
The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

Otta Benga, Formerly Enslaved<br>The Epitome of a Nubian Knight

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"Whenever I use BLACK it relates to some history of Africans in that particular place. It’s the idea of the color BLACK as a metaphor, or as a representation of African-Americans. It’s the notion of BLACK- BLACKNESS - and all its other meanings in relation to the history of race..."

- Fred Wilson

"Most of my fortitude to continue doing the work comes from the moral outrage I feel about the injustices that Black people endure disproportionately daily."

- N. Abdul-Wakil

"In the end, what matters is not skin shade but pan-African consciousness. Loving your complexion, your nose, lips, hair length and texture, no matter what the politics or trends decide, and simply be. That's the problem with us (African folks). We're still learning how to love ourselves. So used to glorifying others and putting others first..."

- Dredlocks Tree

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)

The REEL Black Same Gender Loving Filmography Resource (A 24/7 ONLINE FILM DATABASE)
Click The Pic To Access The Film Library Database! (166 Films)
LAST UPDATE: Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Thursday, February 21, 2008

MY REFLECTION: Scandalous "Homosexual Bashing" E-mail From Mt. Calvary Holy Church Found!

Hey Black Family,

When the news of this scandalous email uprising was brought to my attention I have to be honest and say I was so f*&king pissed!!!!! It is subjectively clear to me that this woman had an agenda and simply didn't care who she hurt. How does one air someone's alleged business like that? You run the risk (quite willingly on her part) to destroy the lives of those bruthaz mentioned. Friends and family relationships can be destroyed by allegations. Who gave her ultimate power to decide what is right or wrong with her alleged information to publish to other people?

For contextual purposes, you can read the original email (minus people's names thanks to the stand-up journalism of Justin Smith) from the original source of publication at GBMNews.com

So now, in response to the morally reprehensible act of the woman parishioner of the Mt. Calvary Holy Church (located in Washington, DC) who sent the email to over 300+ parishioners, below is the response of Rev. Dr Yvette Flunder who received the scandalous email as well and who is the presiding bishop over the church. I am proud of Rev. Flunder's compassion and well thought out progressive response in this very serious matter.

Read on...


Rev. Dr Yvette Flunder


A few days ago I was copied on an e-mail from an alleged member of Greater Mt. Calvary Holy Church in Maryland, pastored by Bishop Alfred Owens. The e-mail identified by name those persons thought to be Same Gender Loving, and gave great detail as to their attendance at parties, where they lived and with whom, alleged other sexual proclivities and where they served in the ministry.

The e-mail requested that these individuals be taken down from their ministry jobs. Additional results of the included Pastor Owens convening a meeting of those named in the e-mail and polling them to determine who among them were seeking help to be free from a SGL lifestyle. There have been numerous follow-up emails from folks named in the original e-mail that are defensive, threatening and angry. Several have decided to leave the church after many years of faithful membership.

What a tragedy, but the reality facing Mt. Calvary is not unusual. It is indicative of a psychosis that permeates many churches with regard to the presence and involvement of SGL people, who have great love for God and for their church communities.

Psychosis defined:
SGL people who contribute to their own oppression by continuing to support churches that oppress them and are complicit in structures that support homophobia, homohatred, hetero-privilege and encourage internalized homophobia (Similar to battered spouse syndrome) and church leaders that seek to define themselves as straight at the expense of their SGL parishioners by publicly dehumanizing them

Many SGL people have a need for big church and anonymity and a need to identify with perceived success (mega-church) Other causes include their support for traditional church leadership (male pastor and pastor's wife), pageantry, benefit of assumed heterosexuality or ambiguous sexuality, family commitments/ loyalty and opportunity to hide ones other life. For those who benefit financially from the church, secrecy seems to be an economic imperative. Public ridicule of SGL people may often be an effort to hide the reality of the presence of SGL people.

This sickness has resulted in the destruction of self-esteem, open vicious attack against the personhood of countless individuals and their families and has produced self inflicted theological and physical violence, duplicity and inauthentic leadership (some leaders are themselves SGL and or bi-sexual), loss of valuable members, lack of focus on other vital justice issues and ministry destruction. This does not reflect the ministry of Jesus that welcomed and affirmed all. This psychosis also causes destructive behaviors amplified by secrecy and resulting in irresponsible sexual behaviors, and an inability to form and sustain lasting healthy authentic relationships. Are there more churches like Mt. Calvary? Certainly! There are numerous examples of churches disproportionately populated by SGL sisters and brothers, who are not only bereft of affirmation, but who live in an atmosphere of continual debasement, degradation and fear of exposure which leads to suicide, disenfranchisement from the church, addictions and other self-destructive behaviors.

Rev. Dr Yvette Flunder

The light that is being cast on this disparity is no accident t is the active will of God, which must be acknowledged and embraced. This oppression is not making SGL people straight. It is just driving SGL people further underground. The real questions are, what actions are necessary to move churches beyond toleration to acceptance and affirmation and eventually to celebration of the SGL community and their extraordinary contributions to the Christian Community? What is the alterative for those who cannot wait for change to occur? What is the responsibility of SGL people to participate in their own freedom? I would suggest the following as action items for SGL people and their allies to consider and use to frame discussions regarding relationship and involvement in churches and faith-based communities.

1 . Faithful support for affirming churches and faith-based organizations
2. Education regarding a theology of full inclusion of SGL persons in the life of the church
3. Active involvement in inclusive theological education of family and friends
4. Active involvement in inclusive theological education of churches and faith communities
5. Education regarding Human Sexuality
6. Commitment to ethical behaviors that include honesty, authenticity and truth telling
7. Confrontation when misinformation, destructive comments, oppressive theology or dehumanization occurs.

It is time to move beyond avoidance and to move toward the dialogue necessary to heal this painful breach. We would welcome those who are ready to move into God's Bright Tomorrow, as evidenced by the Extravagant Grace, and Radical inclusivity of Jesus Christ to join us in conversation at The Fellowship. Please visit our web page at www.radically inclusive.com and join us at our Leadership Conference in February and our Annual Meeting in June. It is time for change.

Pax Christi! (Peace in Christ),

Rev. Dr. Yvette A. Flunder - Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship
Rev. Dr. Wyatt I Greenlee - Episcopal Assistant, The Fellowship

Constructing My Own Black "Blueprint" (Part I)

Hey Black Family,

As a precursor, this entry was inspired by an inquiry by a friend of mine regarding the Black same gender loving (SGL) film called "Blueprint". I responded to his email and decided to share my comments on "Writings on the Black Wall". This serves to nurture the more personal of me as opposed to the nuremous emails I send out there regarding the African Diaspora. Just getting used to this new space of mine. Well, read on...

... As for Blueprint, I LOVE the film so much and YES, I do speak highly of the film and have been using quite a bit of energy to promote it any which way I can. I even fixed up my MySpace page and added a promotional flyer to compliment the Blueprint video I already have embedded on my page.

I mean, all I can say is that the film spoke to in a way in which I connected with the two main characters; not to say their experiences are my own. But the way the story developed I had (have) a vested interest in the characters of where they were going in the story, and eager for them to get to know each other better though one of the characters was being difficult (backstory issue). Also, there was no "chile" and gurl" type dialog in the film (which is refreshing and mirrors my own sensibilities of how I carry myself as a same gender loving brutha) and the two young and early 20-something bruthaz were (relatively) masculine. There were two sequences in the film (I won't say) that I personally would have done with a brutha in real life if I was highly interested in. I like diversity and to experience different adventures in life (the Gemini in me). I like that aspect of the film. Frankly, it is a film I would make, or would have made.

Reactions has been mixed about this movie. Some of the responses have been "oh, it was okay" or "been there, seen that, done dat" to "Man, I really connected with the sensualness of the characters in the "X" sequence of the film", etc. Subjectively speaking, I had a conversation with one friend and we felt that possibly some of the older bruthaz didn't like the film because these 20-something bruthaz were featured (perhaps a longing of something past which might imply why I read the "been there, seen that, done dat" quote) or maybe they'd like to see older bruthaz featured in a Black SGL film. However, it's all supposition of my part and a theory.

Constructing My Own Black "Blueprint" (Part II)

You said: "...the main reason you think highly of this film is because it's a black film."
Well... yes and no. I don't blindly support something because it is purely Black. And some people in certain circles have that assumption about me especially when it comes to films. I am discriminating and definitely do not support a film or anything else simply on the merits of it being Black and/or homosexual. Blueprint happened to have a nice mesh of story, being Black and homosexual and worked FOR ME in that context. I've been having more and more conversations with friends about my not supporting Black romantic comedy films with the heterosexist/romantic slant; movies like: The Wood, Brown Sugar, Tyler Perry's recent Why Did I Get Married?, A Thin Line Because Love and Hate and the list goes on and on and on. I have reached a point in my life (after my self-acceptance of my homosexuality 10 1/2 years ago) that I am so fucking tired of heterosexism up in my face every single day from tv ads, to billboards on the streets & highways via car, to couples kissing on the buses and trains of NYC, to music videos, to seeing it depicted in films. So, those are movies I don't support even though they may have a good story and are Black. And a lot of those types of Black romantic comedies are "popcorn" (aka shallow) films anyhow. I always prefer a good Black drama but those are far and few between. Another subject for another day.

Conversely, I think I'm probably looked at a little differently among friends because I CHAMPION Black SGL films so (aggressively) much and ALWAYS looking for the next Black SGL film experience or slice of life, and franky I just really have no interest in the white gay films. I hear some of them are good (even from you), and I have no doubt that some of the white gay themed films are good, but I am so tired of heterosxism and white folks as well up in my face all the time that I am bitter and tired of it. Anyway... enough ranting. Had to get it out.

Lastly, I would never "hate" on you for "saying/thinking" anything. If you have a "feeling" that Blueprint might not do it for you, then by all means don't go out of your way to spend the $10 or $11 bucks on it. I just LOVE the film "for me" and enjoy promoting it with passion. I really can't say if Blueprint will be a "worthwhile cultural experience" for you. I might say that about the African SGL film DAKAN (Destiny), however, it's story mirrors the plight of SGL bruthaz here in the States.