Black and Queer Visual Culture: An Annotated Filmography and Reference Guide

by Sheri A Lullo


In the collection and preservation of queer Black film/ video, there are a number of issues relevant to archivists, film collectors, filmmakers, scholars, enthusiasts, and researchers, since the collection, identification, and preservation of Black gay film at this point in history is still extremely problematic. First, many in the professional field are unaware that Black lesbians and gay men have created a substantial body of work in film and video. Given the existence of Black gay men and women in film, the history of the production of Black queer images is not as recent as many may suppose, but it is a very recent historical phenomenon if one looks at Black gay men and women behind the camera. With the exception, perhaps, of Marlon Riggs, Julie Dash, or Isaac Julien, well-known film and video artists, many other practitioners remain unknown and invisible. Most archives at this point have made no effort to place special emphasis upon the preservation of Black lesbian and gay film/video. As a graduate assistant and then research associate at the Black Film Center/Archive (BFC/A) at Indiana University in Bloomington in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I found there simply was not a lot of film and video available made by and/or about Black lesbian/gay/bisexual men and women. That hasn’t changed much.

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