Main Exhibition Hall
Black/Out: A Legacy of Joseph Beam & Angela Bowen, Editors
Black/Out, The Magazine of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, represents in many ways the dedication to excellence of its editors, the late Joseph Beam, and later Angela Bowen. This periodical replaced Habari Daftari, NCBLG's earlier national publication, produced by Chris Cothran, of Chicago Illinois, who served as a volunteer Executive Director of NCBLG between 1981 and 1983. Overtime, this very first, online, Main Hall Exhibit of Birthright will acquaint or reacquaint you with the times and events of the mid-to-late 1980s as experienced and captured in this periodical by Black LGBT/SGL individuals immersed in and exploring our culture, history, vision for a better future, and the political challenges of the time. Peruse through these issues, read the articles, and familiarize yourself with brothers and sisters still with us in body and some who remain with us in spirit. Click on the cover to download and enjoy a pdf-type file copy of each issue featured in this exhibit. Come back to examine the collection as we assemble and make available all the issues of this periodical.
This issue was the premier edition of Black/Out. Joseph Beam, then an NCBLG Board Member took responsibility for editing and producing the publication and he succeeded in assembling an exemplary group of contributors, including Craig G. Harris, Charles Roberts, Barbara Smith, Angela Bowen, Gil Gerald, Sonia Sanchez, Dan Garrett, Stephen F. Langley, Julie Blackwomon, Jewelle Gomez, Charles Smith, Doris Davenport, Brad Johnson, Donna Walker, Don Reid, Sharon Farmer, Patsy Lynch, Ron Simmons, Susan Wilson, Ann Chapman, Barbara Raboy, Kenya Baleech, and Joe Beam, himself. In the mid-1980s, networking on a national basis to bring all of this talent in support of this project speaks volumes about the spirit of the times and the shared dreams of many for organizing in the Black LGBT/SGL community.
The second issue of Black/Out, featured articles by Cary Alan Johnson, Anita Cornwell, and Guy Weston, and poetry by Craig G. Harris, Essex Hemphill and Audre Lorde. In this issue, NCBLG Executive Director, Gil Gerald, expresses support for and joins in the call for the 1987 March on Washington and also is reported to resign after an exhausting year for the organization, including but not limited to holding a National Conference of NCBLG in St. Louis, coordinating a succesful meeting with the Surgeon General of the United States, and organizing and holding what was dubbed at the time as the 'definitive conference on AIDS in the Black community.' This conference had been preceded in the same year by only the much smaller SCLC Womens' Conference on AIDS in the Black Community, and by the Western Regional Conference on AIDS in the Minority Community. In this issue, NCBLG also raises awarness about the struggles of Black Freedom Fighters in South Africa, inclusive of Simon Nkodi.