gay african

kickstarter.com
Limit(less) - LGBTQ African Immigrants
Documenting LGBTQ African Immigrant Stories in North America and Europe

The #LimitlessAfricans Kickstarter is now live! Please donate and share with your network to bring my work on LGBTQ African Immigrants to Europe

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikaelowunna/limitless-lgbtq-african-immigrants

Black LBGTQ History Icons

Marsha P. Johnson

  • 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. 

Stormé DeLarverie

  • 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.

Bayard Rustin

  • 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.

Alvin Ailey

  • 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.

Feel free to add anyone I’ve missed!

washingtonpost.com
His Paula Deen takedown went viral. But this food scholar isn’t done yet.
Michael Twitty’s mission: To evangelize about the African roots of Southern food.

Wow this guy is amazing uhhhhhh uhhhhhh such awesome work

-blogger at Afroculinaria.com

“Twitty is deeply engrossed in both the African American and Jewish food traditions. “Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it,” says Twitty, 38.”

“From Richmond it was a short jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg, where Twitty spent the week lecturing, conducting training sessions and cooking in period costume at three of the living history museum’s venues. In all his talks, Twitty emphasized the impact of chefs and cooks of African descent on shaping American and Southern cuisines in colonial times and after.”

“At a conference he met the scholar Robert Farris Thompson, author of “Flash of the Spirit,” a book about the influence of African religions on African American art that helped him see that “soul food” was, among other things, a spiritual term describing a mystical connection between humans and the animals and plants they eat.”

“He cooked and he gardened. He studied heirloom seed varieties, some that had been brought from Africa and some that had been carried from the New World to Africa and then, on slave ships, back to North America, among them okra, black-eyed peas, kidney and lima beans, Scotch bonnet peppers, peanuts, millet, sorghum, watermelon, yams and sesame. He called those seeds “the repositories of our history” and wrote about them in a monograph published by Landreth Seed in its 2009 catalogue.”

“Twitty’s embrace of all the various parts of himself — African, African American, European, black, white, gay, Jewish — sometimes raises hackles, as does his habit of speaking his mind. An article he wrote in the Guardian on July 4, 2015, suggesting that American barbecue “is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased” from its story, elicited scorn and worse: Many commenters were outraged by his idea of barbecue as cultural appropriation.”

washingtonpost.com
Opinion | What happened when an Orthodox Jewish congregation went to a gay bar to mourn Orlando
The Orlando attack fell during Shavuot, a joyous Jewish holiday.

When our synagogue heard about the horrific tragedy that took place at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it was at the same time that we were celebrating our festival of Shavuot, which celebrates God’s giving of the Torah.

As Orthodox Jews, we don’t travel or use the Internet on the Sabbath or on holidays, such as Shavuot. But on Sunday night, as we heard the news, I announced from the pulpit that as soon as the holiday ended at 9:17 p.m. Monday, we would travel from our synagogue in Northwest Washington to a gay bar as an act of solidarity.

We just wanted to share the message that we were all in tremendous pain and that our lives were not going on as normal. Even though the holiday is a joyous occasion, I felt tears in my eyes as I recited our sacred prayers.

I had not been to a bar in more than 20 years. And I had never been to a gay bar. Someone in the congregation told me about a bar called the Fireplace, so I announced that as our destination. Afterward, I found out it was predominantly frequented by gay African Americans.

Approximately a dozen of us, wearing our kippot, or yarmulkes, went down as soon as the holiday ended. Some of the members of our group are gay, but most are not. We did not know what to expect. As we gathered outside, we saw one large, drunk man talking loudly and wildly. I wondered whether we were in the right place. Then my mother, who was with me, went up to a man who was standing on the side of the building. She told him why we were there. He broke down in tears and told us his cousin was killed at Pulse. He embraced us and invited us into the Fireplace.

We didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out that we had so much in common. We met everyone in the bar. One of the patrons told me that his stepchildren were actually bar-mitzvahed in our congregation. Another one asked for my card so that his church could come and visit. The bartender shut off all of the music in the room, and the crowd became silent as we offered words of prayer and healing. My co-clergy Maharat Ruth Friedman shared a blessing related to the holiday of Shavuot, and she lit memorial candles on the bar ledge. Then everyone in the bar put their hands around each other’s shoulders, and we sang soulful tunes. After that, one of our congregants bought a round of beer for the whole bar.

Everyone in the bar embraced each other. It was powerful and moving and real and raw.

After that we moved to the outdoor makeshift memorial service at Dupont Circle. There, too, we did not know what to expect. But as we gathered around the circle, people kept coming up to us and embracing us. One man we met there told us that his daughter sometimes prays with us. Others were visiting from Los Angeles but joined in full voice, clearly knowing the Hebrew words to the song we were singing.

As we were singing, I looked over at some gay members of our congregation and saw tears flowing down their faces. I felt the reality that we are living in a time of enormous pain. But I also felt that the night was a tremendous learning experience for me. I learned that when a rabbi and members of an Orthodox synagogue walk into a gay African American bar, it is not the opening line of a joke but an opportunity to connect; it is an opportunity to break down barriers and come together as one; it is an opportunity to learn that if we are going to survive, we all need each other.

I don’t think this article got very much traction last year, but I wanted to share it again.

10

Bayard Rustin - The Gay Civil Rights Leader

Bayard Rustin was the heart and soul of the black civil rights movement in the United States, He was Martin Luther King Jr.s chef organizer, the pioneer of nonviolent resistance, and the man behind the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, during which Dr.King delivered his momentous and influential “I Have a Dream” speech. Rustin’s open homosexuality was contentious, and to this day his impact on the American landscape is all too often overlooked.

You know when your (probably) white, male, straight, and cis friend asks you ‘if you could time travel to any time period, where would you go?’ Then proceed to refuse to accept answers such as ‘no where. The present is the best time to be me believe it or not’ or ‘the future’ - if you are a black wlw, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

Next time this nuisance appears answer: Harlem, 1920s.

Here’s why:

  • The black lesbian subculture thrived in Harlem and was very influential. For instance, it has been inferred that the “butche/femme” patterns were first found in Harlem and thereafter became an identifiable image in other wlw subcultures.

  • Harlem was by no means a homophobia-free zone in the 1920s. Nevertheless, the tolerance was sufficient enough for black lesbians to socialize openly in their own communities, which white lesbians generally couldn’t do. This specific time period and place would probably maximise your personal safety AND dating life.

  • The black lesbians even shared dance floors, bars, and nightclubs with the heterosexuals. If this fact seems familiar to you, it may be because you’ve read of them in novels such as Home to Harlem, Strange Brother, The Big Money, and Nigger Heaven - the nightclubs they featured all had counterparts in reality.

  • You’ll for once get to outnumber the straights! heterosexuals sometimes quit clubs when they perceived that the gays were taking over.

  • Once you find your vintage girlfriend and decide that you want to spend the rest of your life with her, you can marry her! Don’t feel pressured to keep it a secret - invite all your friends and family. Large butch/femme lesbian weddings were of the ordinary. Just make sure you you masculinize one of your first names to receive your wedding license. These licenses were placed on file in the New York City Marriage Bureau and were often common knowledge among Harlem heterosexuals.

  • If you are bisexual you may even be treated better by the then ‘LGBTQ community’ than you are today thanks to A’Lelia Walker. Daughter to the first self made female African-American millionaire and a businesswoman, Walker is believed to have been bisexual. Her contemporaries  observed that “all the women were crazy about her.” some even believed that the various men she married were merely her beards. Nevertheless, historian Lillian Faderman believes that she had much to do with the “manifest acceptance of bisexuality among the upper classes in Harlem: those who had moral reservations about bisexuality or considered it strange or decadent learnt to pretend a sophistication and suppress their disapproval if they desired Al’Lelia’s goodwill.”


I know that if I can go back I’ll make sure I also get my hair done at one of A’Lelia’s salons. If they are good enough got European princesses, Russian grand dukes, and world-renowned intellectuals, they are certainly good enough for me.

Source: Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers by Lillian Faderman