In this Pride Month tribute to documentary trailblazer Marlon Riggs, we examine the impact his legacy has had on the documentary and public media fields.

Between 1987 and 1995, public television released four independent documentaries by filmmaker Marlon Riggs: Tongues Untied, Black Is ... Black Ain't , Color Adjustment, and Ethnic Notions. These films brought a fresh voice to public media and paved the way for a new generation of African Amerian and LGBTQ+ filmmakers to share their stories. During this conversation, we not only look back at his work, but examine how Riggs' influence continues to inspire emerging media makers.

marlon riggs

Marlon Riggs


THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2020, 2:30-4:30 P.M. EDT


Thomas Allen Harris

Thomas Allen Harris

Thomas uses film, video, photography, and performance to explore family and identity in a participatory model of filmmaking that he has been pioneering since 1990. His deeply personal films have received acclaim at international film and art festivals, including Sundance, Berlin and Toronto; and have been broadcast on PBS, AfroPOP, and Sundance Channel, among other networks. His work also has been screened and exhibited at some of the world's leading museums and art galleries.

In 2019, Thomas created and hosted the PBS series, Family Pictures USA, a new format of television that examines America through the lens of family photo albums. The series grew out of his touring roadshow Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR), which uses family photographs to transform audiences into storytellers. 

Rhea Combs - Center for African American Media Arts

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Rhea Combs

Rhea is a supervisory curator of photography and film who directs the Earl W. and Amanda Stafford Center for African American Media Arts (CAAMA) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Her curatorial projects include Now Showing: African American Movie Posters (2019); Represent: Hip Hop Photography  (2018); and Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture (2018, co-curated with Kathleen Kendrick). With more than 20 years of experience in the museum and nonprofit arts industry, she specializes in photography and the history of African American cinema, and is interested in how gender and race are represented in the media, the history of African American image makers, and contemporary visual art.


Luchina Fisher

Luchina is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. She has written and produced three nationally broadcast documentaries on Gladys Knight, B.B. King and the history of Title IX, as well as numerous segments for television. Her work has appeared on Discovery Health, A&E, ESPN, National Geographic Channel, ABC and in syndication. She has also written, directed and produced two award-winning short films.

Luchina began her career as a journalist, reporting for the Miami Herald and People magazine. Her award-winning articles have appeared in leading print and online media, and she has co-authored and ghostwritten several books. Her upcoming documentary, Mama Gloria, focuses on the life and career of septuagenarian transgender woman Gloria Allen.


Cornelius Moore

Cornelius is co-director of California Newsreel, the 52-year-old social issue film distribution and production company where he has been on staff since 1981.  Over the years, he has directed its anti-apartheid project, the Southern Africa Media Center, and founded the Library of African Cinema (the organization’s African film distribution initiative).  Currently, Cornelius heads California Newsreel’s African American Perspectives collection, which is focused on films on African American life and history.

Cornelius has served on funding panels and as a judge for film festivals in the US and internationally. He is also an independent film curator — most regularly for the Museum of the African Diaspora — specializing in films from the Black world.

Don't miss out on this important discussion.

Registration for the 2020 Black Media Story Summit is currently open. Participation in all events, including this town hall, is free except the 40th Anniversary House Party, which is a pay-as-you-wish event. Registration is required for all events. We urge you to take full advantage of this timely opportunity to contribute ideas, make connections, and share your stories of success