Commentary Strange Fruit

Before Lena Waithe, Lee Daniels, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Steven Canals were household names, there was another writer and director bringing complex and robust stories of Black queer and trans folks to the big and small screens. Director, screenwriter, and producer Patrik-Ian Polk has been creating phenomenal Black LGBTQ content for film and television audiences for nearly two decades, starting with the 2000 feature film “Punks,” which he wrote, directed and produced.

He has a legendary body of work, which, besides “Punks,” includes films “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom,” “The Skinny,” and “Blackbird.”

Polk is best known, though, for his groundbreaking television series “Noah’s Arc,” which ran for premiered in 2005 and ran for two seasons on the Logo cable channel. The series featured gay Black and Latinx characters and highlighted many social issues including same-sex marriage, queer parenthood, HIV/AIDS awareness, and gay bashing. Logo TV recently made the entire series available for free on their YouTube channel.

This week we got to speak with the visionary and queer icon about his 20-year career as a filmmaker, director, and producer of Black and Queer art, and we got to fan out and tell him just how much his work has brought us joy, given us LIFE and allowed us to see ourselves like we were never able to before.

Listen to the show: