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Journey to the Moon Shines a Light on the Humanity of Queer Black Women

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Tara McNamara Imagine an astronaut facing impending doom on the moon, whose only connection to humanity is the voice of mission control.

Who do you picture? In writer-director Shanrica Evans’ Indeed Rising Voices short “Amina,” the titular astronaut is a Black queer woman and the voice from Earth is her wife Noa, grounded because she’s pregnant with their baby.

Neither any real-life space agency nor the astronauts of typical Hollywood fare have achieved that level of representation for gay Black people, but Evans, who was raised by her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother in Decatur, Ga., has made it her mission to create a more inclusive world through art — starting with her own community. “When I do see southern Black women on the screen, I don’t see their full totality,” she says. “Their experience and pain are presented in ways that I don’t think encompass all their beauty and their murky, fun humanity.

I want to showcase myself and the people I grew up with in our full humanness so we can gain empathy for ourselves.”“Amina” was inspired by Evans’ personal experiences dealing with loss and grief in the wake of her father’s death when she was in her early 20s.“It was a difficult grieving process, and there were a lot of feelings of hauntedness and loss,” says Evans, who came up with the concept for “Amina” in just two weeks. “I went through that process and found love at the end — a very ‘beyond time’ kind of love.”Indeed’s senior VP of environmental, social and governance, LaFawn Davis, says Evans and her short represent the very reason the online employment portal invested in the Rising Voices program.

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