Black LGBT Poets “Go To War” For Art

Image via Bedford Bowery

Black and Queer poets are sharing their truths and not being nice about it.

A new documentary titled Don’t Be Nice has just dropped and it’s already getting buzz. The film, directed by Max Powers, follows five African-America, Afro-Hispanic, and queer poets who make up the Bowery Slam Poetry Team.


As for the film’s title, it comes from their coach Laurne Whitehead, according to the Advocate. She believes to “be nice” in art blocks artists from exploring deeper into personal issues as well as issues concerning people of color and queer couple.

In a statement about the documentary, Director Powers said:

“My goal has been to illuminate these poets’ words with as little obstruction as possible, bringing the revolutionary work they’ve done in expanding Slam Poetry to a wider movie-going audience. Where many succumb to the polarizing simplifications of click-bait headlines, these poets do difficult personal work to come to an understanding of their relationship to race and power, and courageously share it.”

But where can you watch the film? Don’t Be Nice released at the IFC Center in New York City on September 20. But that won’t be the end of the documentary. It’s set to having a showing at the Laemmle Glendale in Los Angeles on September 27. After that, the film will have a wider roll-out across the country and possibly further. We’ll update you on those extended showings as more details are shared.

Sources: The Advocate, Bedford Bowery

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