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New Mini Documentary “Inviting In” Celebrates Life, Legacy of James Baldwin & History of Coming Out

The National Black Justice Coalition partners with The Root in new mini-documentary honoring James Baldwin on his birthday.

A new mini-documentary released today by the National Black Justice Coalition and The Root is challenging notions of LGBTQ+/SGL (same gender loving) people and “coming out,” by proposing a new concept: Inviting In. The program was released to commemorate the life and work of late writer and queer icon James Baldwin on what would have been his 97th birthday.

A series in three parts, Inviting In discusses the history of “coming out,” its implications in modern-day, and how notions of Inviting In can help queer people reclaim their identities and how they share themselves with the world. Emphasizing the importance and perpetual presence of intersectionality and diversity in the queer community, Inviting In features commentators such as Amber Whittington (AmbersCloset), Andrew Gillum, Blair Imani, Blue Telusma, Feminista Jones, Sage Dolan-Sandrino. Sharhonda Bossier, and Thami Kotlolo.


“We participated in this series to help define and contextualize ‘coming out’ to a new generation,” said David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “Like so many terms directed at or used by LGBTQ+/SGL people, coming out was used to mask queerness in public space. Reclaiming the idea of coming out as a positive act one does on their own terms is a more recent phenomena. Even so, many people live in constant fear of being outed. While many take coming out for granted as a ubiquitously positive moment in one’s life, being outed or forced to come out is the opposite. That’s why we’re emphasizing ‘inviting in.’ As we honor the late James Baldwin on what would have been his 97th birthday, we hope this docuseries disrupts the imbalance of power held by those who demand that others ‘come out,’ when they are not ready and educate queer, straight, cis, and non-binary folks alike. We hope that this is a tool to be used by anyone desiring to be free.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 2, 2021

CONTACT: Anna Zuccaro |


The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.