Swarthmore College

The Aydelotte Foundation and the Sager Series Present
BlackStar Selects: Queer Futures with J Wortham
October 24, 2023 at 7 pm
Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema, Swarthmore College

Short documentaries on Black queer and trans histories and futures from Philadelphia’s signature film festival. Hosted by New York Times Magazine culture critic J Wortham. 

The Aunties (Charlyn Griffith-Oro & Jeannine Kayembe-Oro) pays tribute to black Black farmers and culture keepers Paulette Greene and Donna Dear. The Beauty President (Whitney Skauge) Activist Terence Alan Smith reflects on the 1992 presidential bid of his drag queen persona Joan Jett Blakk. MnM (Twiggy Pucci Garçon) is an exuberant portrait of chosen sisters Mermaid and Milan, emerging runway divas in the drag ballroom community. Blending personal interviews with dramatized genre recreations, The Script (Brit Fryer, Noah Schamus) explores the complicated relationship between trans and nonbinary communities and medical providers regarding gender-affirming care. Fierceness Served! The ENIKAlley Coffeehouse (Michelle Parkerson) profiles a mid-1980s Washington DC venue, created by Black LGBTQ artists and activists as safe haven and creative incubator during the onslaught of AIDS and crack, which later inspired Black queer creatives internationally. 

J Wortham is a staff writer for the NY Times Magazine, co-host of the Still Processing podcast with Wesley Morris, co-editor of Black Futures, and executive producer of MnM and The Script as part of the series Queer Futures. They are working on a book of essays entitled Work of Body. Listen to J Wortham on the ManyLumens podcast, recorded live at the 2023 BlackStar Film Festival.

The Aydelotte Foundation is Swarthmore’s interdisciplinary research center for the liberal arts. The Sager Series is supported by the Sager Fund, created in 1988 by Richard Sager ’74, and supports prominent guests representing the LGBTQIA+ community. Cosponsored by the President’s Fund for Racial Justice, Black Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Directions to Swarthmore College.

About the Author

Marianne Dages is the Administrative Assistant for the Aydelotte Foundation.

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