This week (June 29 – July 5, 2020) – in recognition and support of #blackpride – we’re highlighting key Black LGBTQ+ figures and the important work they’ve done! First up is:
Bayard Rustin – Civil Rights Organiser and Activist.
During the 1950s he worked as an advisor to Martin Luther King; teaching him Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance.
By the 1980s he began to engage in gay rights activism. He testified on behalf of New York State’s Gay Rights Bill. In 1986 he gave a speech reflecting on the drivers for social change stating:
The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind’
Writer and Social Activist
Author of “The Colour Purple”
In 1983 she coined the term “womanist” to mean a black feminist, of feminist of colour: uniting women of colour and the feminist movement at “the intersection of race, class, and gender oppression.”
Scholar, writer, and activist.
Barbara has been politically active since the 1960s and has been at the forefront of building Black feminism within the United States.
Her works focus on the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, and class oppressions. In conversation with Virginia Eubanks Barbara stated
“Building identity politics gave us a platform, an analysis, and a certain sense of confidence that we deserved to be part of the dialogue. If we had not done that, where would women of colour be, as far as being able to assert the legitimacy of our concerns, and the particularity of our point of view?”
Barbara was the first African American District Attorney of Albany Country, and first female Mayor of the City of Albany.
Novelist, playwright, and activist
Throughout his writing he explores themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class. His protagonists are often gay or bisexual African American men, who face internal and external obstacles in their search for social and self-acceptance.
He is quoted as saying:
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’
Co-founder, trustee, and executive director of UK Black Pride.
UK Black Pride is Europe’s largest celebration for LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American descent.
UK Black Pride is a safe space to celebrate diverse sexualities, gender identities, cultures, gender expressions, and backgrounds.
She has been a formidable voice in the fight for equality of queer people of colour.
“The strength and power of women is undeniable, but it is often erased, silenced, and marginalised”
Artist, organiser, and freedom fighter
Co-founder of Black Lives Matter – she received the 2017 Sydney Peace Prize for her work in “harnessing the… power of people to inspire a bold movement for change”
She received a Woke Award for her commitment to raising community issues around anti-Black racism and state violence.
In August 2018 Patrisse took on the role of professor at Arizona’s Prescott College teaching a course as part of Social Justice and Community Organising Master’s degree program which combines a focus on critical race theory, anti-colonial theory, and feminist and queer theory.
Charlene Carruthers is a Black, queer, feminist community organiser and writer.
She is founding national director of Black Youth Project 100; a member-based organisation of Black youth acitvists creating justice and freedom for all Black people. Their current campaigns include “She Safe: We Safe” aiming to end the gender violence that Black women, girls, femmes, and gender non-conforming people face everyday.
Charlene is the author of bestselling book: ‘Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements’