With Black History Month in its third week, I got the idea to google around the Web for half an hour and see how many vivid article profiles of black LGBT pioneers were easily findable in that time. Below is the "bouquet" of inspiring lives that I happened upon, and put together, in a short time. Some are well-known, others less so but deserve to be well-known. The point is -- a tremendous amount of writing and research has been done on this subject. There are a lot of amazing people that many of us need to know more about. And they're all out there for our fingers to find via the mouse or Blackberry.
I invite commenters to add some names or article citations that are faves of theirs.
Meanwhile, the author and publications that I found, and the figures they're writing about, cam be found after the jump.
In addition to articles, there are also book reviews, film reviews and informational websites -- not only in the U.S. but other countries as well -- that can lead us to greater knowledge about, and appreciation of, hundreds of people who contributed so richly to what we call "our community" after 1900.
A few that I found:
1940s-1960s composer ("Take the A Train") and civil-rights activist
"Billy Strayhorn: Lush Life" - Independent Lens (PBS Home/KCET)
"Maya Angelou at 80 - A Glorious Celebration, by the lister at AfterEllen.com
writer, literary critic, activist who died in 1988
"Remembering a Black Gay Pioneer"
by Tommi Avicolli Mecca
Born in 1902, dancer, collector of "in the life" memorabilia, major contributor to Lesbian Herstory Archives in NYC
"Mabel Hampton: Black Lesbian Pioneer" by Kathy Belge, About.com
performance artist in soul and hip hop, author, music events producer,
"Tim'm West: My Favorite Things," by Keith Boykin
transgender activist, fellow Bilerico Project contributor
"Say It Loud - Black, Transgender and Proud" - UK Black Out.com
UK Black Out.com
First Major League baseball player to be out to teammates and team-owners. Played 1976-79. Died of AIDS in 1995.
author, first published in 1950s, one of the first to identify as a black lesbian in print
"Remembrance of Things Present" by Janet Mason
And finally...a reference book that people who like to read books on this subject might like to have on their shelf:
Carry the Word: A Bibliography of Black LGBTQ Books
Edited by Steven G. Fullwood and Lisa C. Moore
Redbone Press/Vintage Entity Press, $16.95
available at www.amazon.com
Reviewer Richard Labonte at PrideSource says: "This compilation of almost 700 black queer titles - fiction and poetry, essays and anthologies, gay studies texts and lesbian biographies - has value enough as a useful library resource. And there's a value-added component: more than two dozen interviews (and a few reviews) that add personality to the book's bare-bones booklist."