Bayard Rustin was an openly gay Black man who was Martin Luther King’s right hand man. He planned the March on Washington and was subject to scrutiny for his sexuality and deemed a “deviant” and “pervert”.
Bayard Rustin can be found in nearly every picture of MLK yet he has undoubtedly been erased from history. We have to fix that.
Pictured above is the Higdon family. This photograph was taken in the year 1898 in Britain. That is all we know about them.
Who were the Black Victorians? Mainstream history has virtually erased them from our minds and history books. We have been filled with images of slavery in America and across the world, but why is it that this chapter in black history was skipped? Why isn’t it equally common knowledge that in the midst of all of that darkness there was light, also.
Never before seen photos were uncovered, giving us over 200 images of glances into our past. Many of the photos did not include names or any details whatsoever, cloaking these people in mystery for all of time.
At one point in history, people of color were included in high society and walked the cobbled streets of Britain. The women wore intricate, voluminous gowns and wore their hair in curls and chignons. The men in suits and fair business. This may not have been the case for all black people in Britain, but for some it was.
The Victorian Era was ruled under Queen Victoria, an era that is described as an opulent culture, although there were underlying bouts of poverty and child labor. History would like you to believe that black people didn’t arrive in Britain until 1948 during “The Empire Windrush”, when many Jamaican descendants entered the country, but that is not so. There has been proof to suggest otherwise. There is documentation that proves that it wasn’t uncommon to see black faces at a Shakespeare show. We’ve been there all along, humming softly in the background.
These images prove that you can’t take mainstream history at face value. Take the time to look behind the curtain and uncover OUR history. It’s as if our ancestors are just waiting for us to seek them out.
Who were the Black Victorians?
To see more of these images check out this video reel.
“When Candace Hill ran 100 meters last year in a record-breaking 10.98 seconds, the then 16-year-old high school junior officially became the fastest girl in the world. Now, she’s also the youngest track athlete to ever go pro, and she’s hoping to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team this year.
“I’m still in shock about that label,” Candace says in the March issue of Seventeen, on newsstands now. “The boys are too scared to run against me … They’ll take longer to get ready or ‘forget’ something in the locker room when they know I’ll be at practice with them.”
Hey Tumblr! You’ve been making beautiful posts for Black History Month, and we’ve collected some the finest right over here in a special Black History Month Explore page. We’ll be adding to it every day, so if you’ve got a black history post in your heart, make it, tag it #black history month, and we’ll be on the lookout.
Admire, revel, learn, teach, and radiate some serious joy. Happy Black History Month, Tumblr.
A leader of the Stonewall Riots. According to several eyewitnesses, Marsha was the one who “really started it”. She was “in the middle of the whole thing, screaming and yelling and throwing rocks and almost like Molly Pitcher in the Revolution or something”
Dedicated her life to activism:
Co-founded the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (later renamed Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries)
Ensured that the young drag queens, trans women and other street kids on Christopher Street were fed and clothed. Marsha also housed them whenever she could.
In the 1980s, she was an activist and organizer in ACT UP.
Also a leader in the Stonewall Riots - has been identified as the “butch lesbian that threw the first punch” against the police officers.
Several eye-witnesses recollections also recognize her as the cross-dressing lesbian that yelled “why don’t you guys do something” at the bystanders that evoked the reaction from them that helped make Stonewall a defining moment in history.
Unofficially worked at gay bars who otherwise couldn’t afford security.
Was a leading strategist of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement between 1955-1968:
The formidable behind the scenes figure of the civil rights movement who organized the March on Washington
Through his influence, the civil rights leadership adopted a non-violent stance.
Is and was often overlooked in African-American history because of the public’s discomfort with his sexual orientation.
Supported LGBTQ rights and movements.
Was posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy
Another leader in the Stonewall Riots.
Has been involved in community efforts since 1978. She has worked at local food banks, provide services for trans women suffering from addiction or homelessness. During the AIDS epidemic she also provided healthcare and funeral services.
Is currently serving as the Executive Director for the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project, working to assist transgender persons who are disproportionately incarcerated under a prison-industrial complex.
At the young age of 22, Alvin AIley became Artistic Directer for the Horton Dance Company where he choreographed as well as directed scenes and costume designs.
Formed the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre in 1958 but continued to choreograph for other companies.
Ailey’s signature works prominently reflects his Black pride.
Is credited for popularizing modern dance.
Was also posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.