Affirmations and Anthem

1990-1991 | Activism / Black/African American / Race and Culture | 19m | USA
Directors: Marlon T. Riggs

Featuring two of Marlon T. Riggs’ short films, this collection is an exploration of black gay male desires and dreams

Anthem | 1991 | 9 min.

Marlon Riggs’ experimental music video politicizes the homoeroticism of African-American men. With sensual, sexual, and defiant images and words intended to provoke, Anthem reasserts the “self-evident right” to life and liberty in an era of pervasive anti-gay and anti-Black backlash and hysterical cultural repression.

Affirmations | 1990 | 10 min.

An exploration of Black gay male desires and dreams. Affirmations starts with an affectionate, humorous confessional and moves on to a wish for empowerment and incorporation.

“My struggle has allowed me to transcend that sense of shame and stigma identified with my being a Black gay man. Having come through that fire, they can't touch me.” —Marlon T. Riggs

Reviews and Awards

“Affirmations is a continuation of the exploration of the African-American gay male identity that Marlon Riggs began with Tongues Untied…If you’ve ever been curious about or tried to understand the Black gay male experience, this is for you.” — Knapper, Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco

“[Anthem] manages to politicize and celebrate the image of African-Americanmen and to present that image as living history, gender pliable andready for the revolution(s).” — D. L. Alvarez, Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco