Published by
Bell, Alan, American
Edited by
Bell, Alan, American
Subject of
Lavender Light, American, founded 1985
AIDS Project East Bay, American, founded 1983
Saxxon, Larry, American
Manago, Cleo, American, born 1963
Minority AIDS Project, American, founded 1985
Rev. Bean, Carl, American, 1944 - 2021
Wilson, Phill, American, born 1956
National Association of Black and White Men Together, American, founded 1980
George Augustus Stallings Jr., American, born 1948
Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, American, 1988 - 2003
Vance, Danitra, American, 1954 - 1994
St. John, Keith, American, born 1957
Smith, Barbara, American, born 1946
Saint, Assotto, Haitian American, 1957 - 1994
African-American Lesbian and Gay Alliance, American, founded 1986
Folayan, Ayofemi Stowe, American, born 1950
Kelly, Patrick, American, 1954 - 1990
Ailey, Alvin, American, 1931 - 1989
Lorde, Audre, American, 1934 - 1992
Ice-T, American, born 1962
Essence Magazine, American, founded 1970
Living Colour, American, founded 1984
February 1990
ink on paper (fiber product)
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 1/4 × 1/8 in. (27.4 × 20.9 × 0.3 cm)
This is the 15th issue of BLK magazine, published February 1990. The front cover features a black and white image of Chas. Bennett Brack, co-founder of Lavender Light. Photographed from the chest up, Brack is pictured leaning against a wall while wearing a flat bill hat and long sleeve shirt. At the top and off centered to the left, [BLK] is printed in large, bold, white, uppercase letters within a blue rectangular textbox with [Num] just visible along the bottom. The letters are largely obscured by the image of Brack. There are 44 pages in total, with articles, advertisements, classifieds, black and white photographs, and cartoon illustrations throughout.
The inside cover features an ad for the Minority AIDS Project announcing their program [Say Sister: / A Woman’s / Program]. The content opens with the section entitled [WORD UP] with five short articles: [Ice-T Says Okay to Poof Bashing] where Ice-T tells his Australian audience he approves of violent hate crimes against gay men, [Three Silly Millimeters] about different sized condoms sent to different countries, [People Gotta Hate Someone] where Judy Dlugacz of Olivia Records says the music industry looks down on racism and anti-Semitism but not homophobia, [Essence Lessens] about the November 1989 issue covering the range of experiences of black men but did not include black gay men, lacking the intersectionality as covered by Robert Santiago’s “Black and Latino” in the same issue, and [Real Reid] about Living Colour denouncing Guns N’ Roses for their racist and homophobic song.
This is followed by four letters to the editor in the section [BLK MAIL] and the BLK masthead on page 5.
The cover story, which begins on page 7, is titled [Lavender Light / Gospel choir gives ’em that old-time religion / plus on-time AIDS info] with a label headline [COVER STORY]. Written by Mark Chestnut, the article covers the history, purpose, and growth of “the Black and People of All Colors Lesbian and Gay Gospel Choir.” The founders say the choir grew out of the Men of All Colors Together / New York chapter. There is a black and white photograph and two quotes in a larger font: [“The church is one of the only places where you can be the biggest sissy that ever hit the face of the earth, as long as you don’t say, “I’m gay.’”], and [“We’re not attached to a church because that’s where most of the members ran from in the beginning.”].
A feature story, which begins on page 11, is titled [Where We Stand / The state of black lesbian and gay America at the dawn of the decade]. Written by James Stokes, the article is about the political state of the U.S., homophobia in African American community, and relationships with other marginalized groups.
A second feature story on page 13 is titled [Looking for Love / A feminine perspective on how we enter into / and sustain intimate relationships] by Rev. E. Victoria Lee. The article is about healthy relationships beginning with self-fulfillment.
A third feature store, which begins on page 17, is titled [Brouhaha by the Bay / APEB workers and management trade charges in clash / over professionalism and agency mission] with a label headline [NEWS ANALYSIS]. Written by L. Lloyd Jordan, this article covers the change in management at the AIDS Project of the East Bay after the departure of Larry Saxxon and under the new director, Cleo Manago.
Several shorter articles appear under the [BLK COMMUNITY NEWS] beginning on page 23. These include: [Manager Goes; Owner Dumps Objectionable Items / by Keith Clark], [Stalling Moves Imani] about Rev. George Augustus Stallings Jr. moving the Imani Temple African American Catholic Congregation to a center, [Black Gay Conference, Health Institute to Open] about the Third Annual National Black Gay and Lesbian Conference and Health Institute with 26 education workshops about AIDS, women, and substance abuse, [Lorde Wins $20K Grant Despite Funding Curbs], and [Fashion Designer Pat Kelly Dies on New Year’s / by Mark Haile].
The gossip column [Read My Lips] by Preston G. Guider appears on page 33. [BLK LIST], a listing of gay and lesbian organizations, bars, and baths, runs from pages 35 to 37 and covers internationally and nationally, with the latter divvied up by region. Entities are assigned one to four stars based on how black they are, with one star meaning “Somewhat black” and four stars “All black.” The bottom of page 37 has text announcing the next BLK issue will hold an interview with Cleo Manago. The issue concludes with the classifieds section [BLK MARKET] starting on page 38, with personal ads divided by international, then U.S. regions.
The back cover is a full-page advertisement for [JEWEL’S / Catch One / Mardi Gras].
There are advertisements throughout, including: [the BFP TEE]; [PRO-CHOICE ACTIVISTS NEEDED] with the Clinic Defense Hotline; [TOWN HALL MEETING / Californian 2000 / Health Insurance For All]; [OUT/LOOK / National Lesbian Quarterly / OUT / WRITE / 90] about the First National Lesbian and Gay Writers Conference; [FOR BLACK GAY & / BISEXUAL MEN ONLY!] from the African American Men’s Health Project; [A Pirate’s Tale / THE BUCCANEER] about a novel by M.S. Hunter; [AIDS Project Los Angeles] with a list of services; [The Gay Fireside Companion / by Leigh Rutledge]; [A DIFFERENT LIGHT / Gay and Lesbian Literature]; [The Next Safer Sex Facilitator Training Session / For The / AIDS Prevention Team] accompanied by stats of Black gay men who have contracted AIDS; [BGM: FOUR / JIBARO / FROM THE BLACKLIGHT PRESS]; [976-CAMP]; [970-WOLF]; [WE CARE ABOUT THE GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY / VISITING NURSE HOME SERVICES]; [WORLD / AFRICAN / ART FESTIVAL & / CULTURAL / CONVENTION]; a personal trainer named Roland looking for clients; [Black and White Men Together]; [PARTY AT TRAXX]; [ACCESS / The Center / The Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center] counseling services; [Unity Fellowship Church / A Church For All People]; [THIRD ANNUAL NATIONAL BLACK GAY AND LESBIAN / CONFERENCE & HEALTH INSTITUTE / Celebrating Our History, / Creating Our Future]; sponsored by Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum and hosted by African American Lesbian and Gay Alliance in Atlanta, GA; [MIDTOWNE SPA]; [The Pleasure Chest Ltd.]; [The / Gay / Fetish / Times / & Video / Review]; [BE A PART OF THE / OLDEST AND LARGEST / GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY / SERVICES CENTER!] the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center seeking to fill an open position; [CHOCOLATE JOY PRODUCTIONS]; and [TALK LIVE!].
Place made
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, San Francisco county, California, United States, North and Central America
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States, North and Central America
Paris, Île-de-France, France, Europe
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
HIV/AIDS Activist Movement
magazines (periodicals)
Associations and institutions
Black Press
Gospel (Music)
International affairs
Mass media
Race relations
U.S. History, 1969-2001
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Alan Bell
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
© BLK Publishing Company, Inc.
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