Marlon T. Riggs (1957–1994) was a black gay writer, filmmaker, educator and social activist. Riggs graduated with honors from Harvard University (1978) and received a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley (1981). Throughout his career he produced, wrote and directed several innovative and provocative documentary films that examine black identity and the role of African Americans in the United States such as Ethnic Notions (1986), Tongues Untied (1989), Color Adjustment (1991). Riggs did not live to see the completion of his final film, Black Is…Black Ain’t (1994). He passed away on April 5, 1994 of an AIDS related illness. He was survived by his partner of 15 years, Jack Vincent.
The Sodomite Invasion: Experimentation, Politics and Sexuality in the work of Jimmy DeSana and Marlon T. Riggs at Griffin Art Projects is part of the Capture Photography Festival’s 2020 Selected Exhibition Program.
Image: Marlon T. Riggs, 1989. Courtesy of Signifyin’ Works, and Frameline Distribution