Black History Black Love

by Julien Christian Lutz PKA Director X

When I zoom out on culture and think about representation in media, as a director I’m especially interested in what’s not there. Black History Month is both a time to reflect on where we’ve come from, honor our culture and ancestors, and cultivate pride in the contributions we have made against all odds. But I also try to see it as a time to imagine the histories we are creating now. What are the most radical ways to create a present that will cultivate new, hopeful, vibrant histories?

Growing up in Toronto in a West Indian home, Black History Month took on more meaning the older I got, and the more I travelled outside of my community. It’s about that common thread that might connect you to another person — it could be a book or a picture. For me it’s that every West Indian home has at least one piece of African sculpture and if you grew up in one, you can call up that shared visual memory.

Making this film, casting and speaking with real people about what Black Love means to them, we found those touchpoints for everyone. Personal, intimate reflections on how being Black twists together with our understanding of love itself — connections to home, to family, to sexuality and to how we present to each other and the world. As these couples and individuals opened up, it was beautiful to see how varied and nuanced the Black community really is – how our expressions of love are tinted through our culture. It is exciting to know that these stories, with all their vulnerability and tenderness, will be seen far and wide. They represent a present I am proud to live in.