Mya B. explores black women’s experiences and opinions about relationships, sex and sexuality in her provocative documentary film, Silence: In Search of Black Female Sexuality In America. Some of the content may be considered “graphic,” but her artistic choices are purposeful. In showing scenes of white slave-masters raping black women, females willingly engaging in sexual acts and performing in racy music videos, Mya B. provides the American historical and cultural contexts that produce stereotypical images of black females. She also represents the voices of black women as they openly discuss when and how they lost their virginity and how their religious views, family, desires and fears shaped their ideas about sex.
In addition to including several personal accounts, Mya B. conducts interviews with many experts including Dr. Hilda Hutcherson, Dr. Llaila O. Afrika, professor Tricia Rose and Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Mya B.’s film helps to break the silence and demonstrate why black women and their sexual histories, desires, frustrations and experiences need to be heard.
In this interview Mya B. shares her own journey to break the silence and tell this story. She was so committed to this film that she funded it out of pocket–almost to the point of eviction. She also gives advice to budding filmmakers, discusses her current projects, including her recent trip to Cuba, and what living unchained means to her.