Thursday, February 17, 2011

George Washington Carver was gay. . . and other bits of lgbt black history you probably didn't know

As we all know, February is Black History Month.  With that in mind, let's not forget those lgbts of color excelled in entertaiment, science, and civil rights, such as the legendary scientist George Washington Carver.

Unfortunately so many in the African-American community want to overlook us and they are aided and abetted by those religious right figures and organizations who seek to drive a wedge between both the lgbt and black communities.

The following names, taken from BlackedOUT History should remind us that no wedge can eliminate truth.

Alvin Ailey Jr.
Jan. 5, 1931
Dec. 1, 1989
Choreographer “I am trying to show the world that we are all human beings and that color is not important. What is important is the quality of our work.”
 John Amaechi
Nov. 26, 1970
Pro Basketball Player “I am gay, black, British…and I am now asserting my activism.”
 James Baldwin
Aug. 2, 1924
Nov. 30, 1987
Author "I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually."
Josephine Baker
June 3, 1906
Apr. 12, 1975
Singer and Dancer “Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one's soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood.”
Jean-Michel Basquiat
Dec. 22, 1960
Aug. 12, 1988
Graffiti Artist "SAMO© as an end to mindwash religion, nowhere politics, and bogus philosophy"
Gladys Bentley Aug. 12, 1907
Jan. 18, 1960
Blues Singer
Octavia Butler June 22, 1947
Feb. 26, 2006
Author "People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn't bother me. It's other people doing the calling that bothers me."

George Washington Carver July 12, 1864
Jan. 5, 1943
Scientist “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”
RuPaul Andre Charles Nov. 17, 1960 Actor, Dancer and TV Show Host  “What other people think of me is not my business. What I do is what I do. How people see me doesn’t change what I decide to do. I don’t choose projects so people don’t see me as one thing or another. I choose projects that excite me. I think the problem is that people refuse to understand what drag is outside of their own belief system.”
Countee Cullen May 30, 1903
Jan. 9, 1946
Poet “My poetry, I think, has become the way of my giving out what music is within me.”
Lee Daniels Dec. 24, 1959 Film Director
Angela Davis Jan. 26, 1944 Civil Rights Activist “Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary's life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.”
Ruth Ellis July 23, 1899   Oct. 5, 2000 Activist “I never expected I’d be 100 years old. It didn’t even come to my mind.”
Sharon Farmer June 10, 1951 White House Photographer “Never turn down a chance to show what you can do.”
Peter Gomes May 22, 1942 Theologian “There can be no light without the darkness out of which it shines.”
Mabel Hampton May 2, 1902
Oct. 26, 1989
Lesbian Pioneer "I, Mabel Hampton, have been a lesbian all my life, for eighty-two years, and I am proud of myself and my people. I would like all my people to be free in this country and all over the world, my gay people and my black people."
Lorraine Hansberry May 19, 1930
Jan. 12, 1965
Author and Playwright “All real and lasting change starts first on the inside and works it way through to the outside. Politically speaking, each person being the change we wish to see in the world is the only stance that can make a lasting difference. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
E.Lynn Harris June 20, 1955
July 23, 2009
Author “I want people to know they don’t have to live their lives in a permanent ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ existence. Truth is a powerful tool.”
Sherry Harris Feb. 27, 1965 Politician “All real and lasting change starts first on the inside and works it way through to the outside. Politically speaking, each person being the change we wish to see in the world is the only stance that can make a lasting difference. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Billie Holiday Apr. 7, 1915
July 17, 1959
Singer "A kiss that is never tasted, is forever and ever wasted."
Langston Hughes Feb. 1, 1902
May 22, 1967
Poet “Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly, Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow."

Zora Neale Hurston Jan. 7, 1891
Jan. 28, 1960
Author and Folklorist “Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at de sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground.”
Bill T. Jones Feb. 15, 1952 Dancer and Choreographer "Living and dying is not the big issue. The big issue is what you’re going to do with your time while you are here." 
 Representative Barbara Jordan (D-Texas) Feb. 21, 1936
Jan. 17, 1996
Politician "My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution."
Audre Lorde Feb. 18, 1934
Nov. 17, 1992
Author “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
Marsha P. Johnson 1945
July 6, 1992
Transgender Activist and co-founder of S.T.A.R. When asked what the P stood for in her name, she replied "Pay it No Mind."
Miss Major Unknown Transgender, Public Health and Prison Activist
Gertrude "Ma" Rainey Apr. 26, 1886
Dec. 22, 1939
Singer "Went out last night with a crowd of my friends,
They must have been women, 'cause I don't like no men.
Wear my clothes just like a fan, Talk to gals just like any old man
'Cause they say I do it, ain't nobody caught me, Sure got to prove it on me."
Bayard Rustin Mar. 17, 1910
Aug. 24, 1987
Civil Rights Activist "We are all one. And if we don't know it, we will learn it the hard way."
Bessie Smith
July 1892
Sept. 26, 1937
Singer     “It's a long old road, but I know I'm gonna find the end.”
Sheryl Swoopes Mar. 25, 1971 WNBA Player "No matter how far life pushes you down, no matter how much you hurt, you can always bounce back."
Wanda Sykes Mar. 7, 1964 Comedian "If you feel like there's something out there that you're supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it."
Andr√© Leon Talley Oct. 16,1949 Fashion Editor “It's not about canceling shows, but initiating things on an individual level. When much is given to you, much is expected. If you're an honest American, you can't wake up and not be affected by the neglect of the government after Katrina. You can't be an honest American and not think about it every day.”
Alice Walker Feb. 9, 1944 Author and Feminist “The truest and most enduring impulse I have is simply to write.”
Phill Wilson Apr. 29, 1956 AIDS Activist "The price of the ticket for life is to leave the world in a different place than you found it, to leave the world a better place than you found it."
Jacqueline Woodson Feb. 12, 1963 Author “I think it's important that everyday we think about the work we need to do to make this world a better place. I mean, we should wake up thinking about it and go to bed thinking about tomorrow's tasks. There's an awful lot of change needing to be made around here.”

Related post: 

Black history and gay history are intertwined. Deal with it

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Billy Glover said...

Thanks for making these people known. It is a shame the black preachers won't admit that many black heros were also homosexual/glbt. They should be proud of them.

(I got this from Daily Queer News' link.)

Jeff Ballam said...

Love it! I pray for the day we no longer have to 'deal with it.' Thank you for posting.