Published by
Bell, Alan, American
Edited by
Bell, Alan, American
Subject of
Jones, Michael
Shakoor, Nadirah, American, born 1959
Rep. Waters, Maxine, American, born 1938
Rev. Bean, Carl, American, 1944 - 2021
Pamplin, Roger V. Jr., American, died 1990
Rev. Dr. McCoy, Renee, American, born 1951
Unity Fellowship Church, American, founded 1982
Minority AIDS Project, American, founded 1985
National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, American, 1978 - 1990
Gerald, Gilberto, Panamanian American, born 1950
Summer, Donna, American, 1948 - 2012
St. John, Keith, American, born 1957
Gay Men of African Descent, American, founded 1986
Thais-Williams, Jewel, American
Wilson, Phill, American, born 1956
AIDS Project Los Angeles, American, founded 1983
Nation of Islam, American, founded 1930
National LGBTQ Task Force, American, founded 1974
Smeltzer, Barbara
Rev. Vivian, C. T., American, 1924 - 2020
Jackson, Janet, American, born 1966
Houston, Thelma, American, born 1943
May 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 18th issues of BLK Magazine published May 1990. The front cover, printed with a tint of purple, features an image of Michael Jones, the Volunteer Coordinator of the Minority AIDS Project in Los Angeles, standing in front of room people, presumably volunteers for the program. In the upper left corner, [BLK] is printed in bold, white, uppercase letters within a purple rectangular box. The “K” in “BLK” is slightly obscured by Jones’ raised right hand. Directly above the purple text box and to the right, black text reads [Vol. 2, No. 5, Whole No. 18, May 1990]. Below [BLK] are the three headlines for the cover story and two feature articles: [The Black Community and / Volunteerism], [The Rhythm Nation and / Nadirah Ali], and [The BLK Guide to / Sneakers]. At the bottom and aligned to the left is white text announcing the contents of the issue: [PLUS: / NEWS • CARTOONS • WORD UP / READ MY LIPS • CLASSIFIEDS]. There are 44 numbered pages, with articles, advertisements, classifieds, black and white photographs, and cartoon illustrations throughout.
The inside of the cover features an ad for the Minority AIDS Project for their program [SAY SISTER / HEY BROTHER]. The content opens with the section entitled [Word Up / News of the Outrageous, the Amusing, the Pathetic and the Unexpected] by Leon Miller with four short articles: [Mama’s Heard It All Before] about a New Zealander gay bar using a caricature of a black woman as their logo, [Gay Community Gets the Message] an anti-apartheid art show depicted across a gay Latino Club, [X-Rated Wallpaper], and [The Location of the Cum]. At the bottom, [Tell the Tale] encourages readers to send BLK odd stories.
This is followed by [JUMP START] on page 4, the first appearance of this section with founder Alan Bell addressing the cover story. Below is the [CONTENTS], also the first appearance of this section, and on the same page, a column for the BLK masthead. The reoccurring section, with four letters to the editor, [BLK MAIL] is on the following page.
The first feature story, which begins on page 9, is titled [Shoes News / You are what’s on your feet. That is / if you care about such things.] with the label headline [FASHION]. Written by Jarvis D. Moore, the article rates different footwear. The second feature story, which being on page 13, is titled [Nadirah Ali / Her audience has really grown over / the last 24 years], with the label headline [PERSONALITY]. Written by Alycee J. Lane, the article covers Ali's experience as a back up singer for Madonna and Janet Jackson.
The cover story, which begins on page 15, is titled [Volunteerism / Blacks are ready to volunteer when the need / is clear and the message is right] with the label headline [COVER STORY]. Written by Lynelle T. Johnson, the story address misconceptions from white nonprofit organizations towards black volunteers in AIDS service organizations.
Several shorter articles appear under the [BLK COMMUNITY NEWS] beginning on page 19. These include: [Acacia Fraternity Rejects Black Gay Pledge; Greeks Ordered to Apologize, Take Classes on Homophobia / by Robert Getz], [Maryland Probes Death Amidst Medical Charges], [First Event Makes New L.A. Organization Instant Hit] about the African American Gay and Lesbian Cultural Alliance, [AIDS Gets Minority AIDS Funds Reinstated] about Informe-SIDA, a program of the Austin Latino Lesbian/Gay Organization, [Biased to be Expelled], [Bean, McCoy Form New Black Gay Congregation / by Mark Haile] about the Unity Fellowship Movement, [Survey Links Education, Circumcision Viewpoint], [New Black Pubs Debut], [Bogus Flyer Circulates] pertaining to Donna Summer, [Keith St. John Appears at N.Y. Political Benefit / by Mark Chestnut] sponsored by Gay Men of African Descent, [AIDS Orgs Work Together] about the Minority AIDS Project, Being Alive, the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, the AIDS Hospice Foundation and the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center, [Racist AIDS Pamphlet Used in South African], [Panel Urges FDA to END Ban on Haitian Blood], [Detroit Council Honors Gay Club DJ Ken Collier], [Straights Blamed for Growing AIDS Infection], [Judge Nixes Denson’s Claim on Solon’s Estate] about Rep. Stewart B. McKinney’s estate and Arnold R. Denson, [Black Gays Rally Around Waters Bid for Congress], [2 Orgs Call Youth Meet] about the Nation of Islam and the New Alliance Party holding a community forum and inviting Seattle’s black lesbian and gay community, and [NGLTF to Have POC Meet] about Barbara Smith and Dr. C. T. Vivian at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force conference to hold a People of Color Institute.
The section [BLK VEIL] begins on page 33 and lists seven obituaries: Melvin Dixon, Robert (Robarie) Hunter, Kenneth C. McCune, Westly Lee Ray, Sandy Sorrelles, Jason W. Taylor, and Ivory Wesley Jr. This is followed by the gossip column [Read My Lips] written by Preston G. Guider on page 35. The issue concludes with the classifieds section [BLK MARKET], starting on page 37, with personal ads divided by gender, then U.S. regions.
The back cover is a full-page advertisement for [Octagon], a nightclub in NYC.
There are advertisements throughout, including: [San Francisco / Lesbian/Gay / Freedom Day / Parade and Celebration]; [Stonewall Democratic Club / Endorsement Slate Sheet]; [The Black Gay Men’s Exchange and Cleo Manago / An Afrocentric Approach / to Empowerment, AIDS Education, / Prevention and Self-Love]; [TAKE PRIDE] about the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Pride Celebration; [LAPIS BLACK LESBIAN SUPPORT GROUP]; [LAPIS WOMEN OF COLOR / DROP-IN / SUPPORT GROUP]; [AN AFTERNOON / WITH / RANDY SHILTS] with the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center; duel ad by Jewel’s Catch One about [BROTHERS / IN THE NAME / OF LOVE] a benefit for Rue’s House and [CONGRATULATIONS “BOSS”] to celebrate Jewel’s recent award; [Be A Buddy To Someone With AIDS] a support program by the AIDS Project Los Angeles; [7th Annual / Long Beach / Lesbian & Gay / Pride / Parade / and / Festival]; full page ad of [Shanti Foundation] offering physical training; [970-WOLF]; [ACCESS / The Center / The Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center] counseling services; [THE BLUES IS BLACK / A FUNDRAISING DINNER] sponsored by the Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum; [Celebrate a Life!] for Rev. Carl Bean’s Birthday; [the BFP TEE], [THE DEFINITION OF HOT: / JESSE! / “A SIZZILIN’, SINGIN’ MACHINE”] at the Backlot Cabaret Theatre; [Unity Fellowship Church / A Church for All People]; [FOR BLACK GAY & / BISEXUAL MEN ONLY!] from the African American Men’s Health Project; [Black and White Men Together]; [A DIFFERENT LIGHT / Gay and Lesbian Literature]; [10th / ANNIVERSARY/ CONVENTION OF THE / NATIONAL ASSOCATION/ OF BLACK & WHITE MEN TOGETHER] in San Francisco, CA; [WORLD / AFRICAN / ART FESTIVAL & / CULTURAL CONVENTION]; [Reactions]; [Hot, Horny & Healthy! / a Fun, Safer Sex Plays hop] an AIDS prevention program; [THE / NEW HORIZON] calendar of events; [CALIFORNIA CRUSING / CA’S Unique All Gay Cruise Line!]; [976-HUNK]; [Buddies ‘n’ Pals / ‘n’ Partners] dating service for major cities in the U.S. and Canada; [The Pleasure Chest Ltd.]; [CHIRON RISING]; [ComQuest]; [Chocolate Joy Productions]; and [TALK LIVE!].
Place made
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
Burlington, Mineral County, West Virginia, United States, North and Central America
Baltimore, Baltimore County, Maryland, 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
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States, North and Central America
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, United States, North and Central America
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Seattle, King County, Washington, United States, North and Central America
Austin, Travis County, Texas, United States, North and Central America
Eket, Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, Africa
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Africa
Port-au-Prince, Ouest, Haiti, Caribbean, Latin America
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
African American - Latinx Solidarity
HIV/AIDS Activist Movement
magazines (periodicals)
Associations and institutions
Black Press
International affairs
Mass media
Nation of Islam
Race discrimination
Singers (Musicians)
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
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

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