Celebrating Diversity in Film and TV: A Look at AAFCA’s Pride Month Luncheon

Celebrating Diversity in Film and TV: A Look at AAFCA’s Pride Month Luncheon

The African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and Better Brothers LA are gearing up to celebrate Pride Month with their annual luncheon on June 1. This event shines a spotlight on films and TV series that contribute to the visibility and representation of LGBTQ communities. This year, AAFCA will be honoring the Paramount+/Showtime limited series, Fellow Travelers, for its exceptional portrayal of gay life and its inclusion of Black LGBTQ characters and storylines.

Fellow Travelers, based on the bestselling novel by Thomas Mallon, follows the lives of its two main characters, Timothy Laughlin and Hawkins Fuller, portrayed by Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey. The series explores the social and political implications of their relationship, offering a thoughtful and engaging narrative that has resonated with audiences. Additionally, the inclusion of characters like Marcus Gaines (Jelani Alladin) and Frankie Hines (Noah Ricketts) provides a rare and much-needed representation of Black LGBTQ individuals.

AAFCA is set to present Fellow Travelers with the prestigious Social Impact Award during the luncheon. AAFCA President Gil Robertson expressed his excitement, stating, “In the spirit of Pride, AAFCA is thrilled to recognize Fellow Travelers for its contributions to LGBTQ representation.” The event will also celebrate the talents of co-stars Jelani Alladin and Noah Ricketts, as well as showrunner Ron Nyswaner, highlighting their dedication to bringing these important stories to the screen.

Better Brothers LA co-founder Scott Hamilton praised the series for showcasing the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community, particularly for Black individuals. He emphasized the significance of having characters like Marcus and Frankie who navigate the intersectionality of being both Black and queer, shedding light on the complexities of gender identity. Further, Hamilton noted that Fellow Travelers serves as a reminder of the longstanding impact that queer individuals have had on society.

In addition to the Pride Month festivities, AAFCA will also be hosting its fifth annual Black Music Month celebration on June 8 at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The event will feature a screening of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary, Little Richard: I Am Everything, which offers an intimate look at the life and legacy of the iconic rock ‘n’ roll legend. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in a panel discussion with the film’s director, Lisa Cortes, alongside Black Music Month founder Dyana Williams, Amazon Music executive Phylicia Fant, and multi-talented artist Erica Grayson.

As AAFCA continues to champion diverse voices in the entertainment industry, events like the Pride Month luncheon and Black Music Month celebration serve as important platforms for recognizing and celebrating the contributions of LGBTQ and Black artists. By honoring impactful works like Fellow Travelers and documentaries like Little Richard: I Am Everything, AAFCA reinforces the importance of representation and inclusivity in film and music.


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