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Commentaries on this Media!

The Personal and Political

by Kate Fortmueller

Marlon Riggs's documentary Tongues Untied connects the personal and the political and the individual and the collective in order to think about the place of black gay men (and his own identity) within both the black community and the gay community. In the final minutes of the film Riggs brings these points together with footage of obituaries, Pride parade footage, images of black civil rights leaders, and civil rights marches. The clip concludes with the pronouncement that "black men loving black men is the revolutionary act." Consider the voiceover and the specific juxtapositions in this sequence. How is Riggs drawing parallels between these different historical moments? What are the broader stakes? Furthermore, what might be the personal stakes for Riggs?

Tongues Untied (1989) - Revolutionary Acts

In this sequence Riggs makes an explicit connection between the gay rights and the Civil Rights movement

from Tongues Untied (1989)
Creator: Marlon Riggs
Posted by Kate Fortmueller