Published by
Bell, Alan, American
Edited by
Bell, Alan, American
Interview of
Smith, Barbara, American, born 1946
Subject of
Lorde, Audre, American, 1934 - 1992
National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, American, 1978 - 1990
Blackberri, American, 1945 - 2021
Beam, Joseph F., American, 1954 - 1988
Smith, Michael, American, died 1989
National Association of Black and White Men Together, American, founded 1980
Marlon Riggs, American, 1957 - 1994
Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, American, 1988 - 2003
Farrakhan, Louis, American, born 1933
National Rainbow Coalition, American, 1984 - 1996
Lavender Light, American, founded 1985
National Association of Black and White Men Together, American, founded 1980
Saxxon, Larry, American
Norman, Pat, American, born 1939
Sojourner, Sabrina, American, born 1952
Wilson, Phill, American, born 1956
Rev. Dr. McCoy, Renee, American, born 1951
Mandela, Winnie, South African, 1936 - 2018
Minority AIDS Project, American, founded 1985
President Bush, George H. W., American, born 1924
Ku Klux Klan, 3rd, American, founded 1946
Rep. Waters, Maxine, American, born 1938
Thais-Williams, Jewel, American
AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, American, founded 1987
Pamplin, Roger V. Jr., American, died 1990
Rev. Al Sharpton, American, born 1954
W.E.B. Du Bois, American, 1868 - 1963
Baldwin, James, American, 1924 - 1987
Hughes, Langston, American, 1902 - 1967
Hansberry, Lorraine, American, 1930 - 1965
St. John, Keith, American, born 1957
Lee, Spike, American, born 1957
Murphy, Eddie, American, born 1961
Hall, Arsenio, American, born 1956
Rustin, Bayard, American, 1912 - 1987
Dr. Rhue, Sylvia, American, born 1947
Warwick, Dionne, American, born 1940
Reid, Christopher "Kid", American, born 1964
Ross, Diana, American, born 1944
June 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 19th issue of BLK Magazine published June 1990. The front covers features an black and white image of Barbara Smith from the waist up in a sweater as her face leans into her left hand, which is rested on a table. She is wearing a pair of small hoops on her ears and a ring on her right hand. In the upper left corner [BLK] is printed in large, bold, white uppercase letters within a blue rectangular box, with the “K” partially obscured by the image of Smith. The date and issue [Vol. 2, No. 6, Whole No. 19, June 1990] are printed [below] the BLK box in white text. Below, [Barbara Smith] is printed in white text, with [HER WEAPON IS / THE WRITTEN WORD] in blue text. In the right, upper corner, a blue rectangular box is position diagonally, covering Smith’s head. This second blue rectangular box has black text that reads [NEW MONTHLY SECTION / BLK ARTS]. Below and aligned to the right is white text announcing the two feature stories in white text: [RADICAL FAËRIES] with blue text underneath reading [Politics, Spirituality and Sex] and [BLACK GAY vs. GAY BLACK] also with blue text underneath reading [Just a Matter of Semantics?]. At the bottom of the cover, blue text announces the sections of the issue [NEWS • CARTOONS • WORD UP • READ MY LIPS • CLASSIFIEDS]. There are 64 numbered pages, with articles, advertisements, classifieds, black and white photographs, and illustrations throughout.
The inside of the cover features an ad for Minority AIDS project for their event [“What Every Woman / Should Know… / … An Invitation to Women” / to an Open House]. The content opens with the section [WORD UP / News of the Outrageous, the Amusing, the Pathetic and the Unexpected] by Leon Miller with three articles: [‘National’ One Ups ‘Word Up’], [Black Soccer Star Kicks Minorities], and [Bugs in Blackface].
This is followed by [JUMP START] on page 4, with founder Alan Bell addressing the global issues faced by the lesbian and gay community. Below is the [CONTENTS], and on the same page, a column for the BLK masthead.
The first feature story, which begins on page 7, is titled [Into the Woods / Radical faërie movement combines earthy spirituality / with insurgent politics] with the label headline [FEATURE]. Written by Henry Holmes, the article talks about the counterculture movement redefining gay consciousness through spirituality, politics, sexuality, imagination, and environmentalism. There are three black and white photographs of radical faërie gatherings. A related article titled [BLACKBERRI: Searching for My Gay Spiritual Roots] can be found on page 11 and is written by Blackberri.
The second feature story, which begins on page 15, is titled [Sissies in the Hands / of an Angry God / A classic updated for modern times] with the label headline [OPINION]. Written by James Stokes, the article is about the relationship between African American gays and lesbians with churches that condemn homosexuality.
The cover story, which begins on page 17, is titled [Barbara Smith / A political revolutionary whose choice of / weapons is the written word] with the label headline [THE BLK INTERVIEW]. Conducted and written by Alycee J. Lane, Smith discusses her roles as the editor and publisher of "Kitchen Table: Woman of Color Press," the role of political writing, capitalism, and Black lesbians facing sexism and racism.
The third feature story, which begins on page 25, is titled [Black Gay vs. Gay Black / Some say it’s only semantics, but others / are ready to go to war] with the label headline [COMMENTARY]. Written by L. Lloyd Jordan, the article largely covers the tension between individuals who identify either as gay Black or Black gay and how their identity may be influenced by social life, economic status, and political beliefs.
Several shorter articles appear under the section [BLK NEWS], with the section heading printed in white text against a blue filled rectangular box. Beginning on page 21, these articles include: [National Interracial Organization Marks 10th Year] about the National Association of Black and White Men’s convention featuring Larry Saxxon, Thom Bean, Sabrina Sojourner, Phill Wilson, A. Bill S. Jones, Charles Stewart, Urvashi Vaid, Renee McCoy, Pat Norman and Lidell Jackson, [Man Implicated Winne Mandela in Beatings], [Black Forum Tells Plans for 1991 Conference] about the 1991 National Black Gay and Lesbian Conference sponsored by the Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, [Bush Says No to Baptists] about President George Bush turning down an invition from the Southern Baptist Convention, [KKK Tries Gay Sabotage], [FBI Nabs Bar Bombs on Way to Gay Target / by Rex Wockner] about white supremacists en route to blow up Seattle gay bar, Neighbours Disco, [Women of Color Organize] a Chicago social group for lesbians of color named Daisy, [Willie Barrow, Ex PUSH Head, Addresses BWMT / by Rex Wockner], [Thaïs-Williams, Waters Get 1990 CSW Award] about the Christopher Street West awards, [Mayoral Hopeful Slams Black Gays at D.C. Forum], [New AIDS-Related Virus Health Risk for Blacks], [Scientists Find Two Chimps with AIDS-like Infection], [Leading Mayoral Hopeful Speaks to Black Gay Men] in Oakland, CA, [ACT-UP Protests; TV Cut], [Kenyan Doctor Claims Cure for AIDS Symptoms], [Government, Institutions Oppress Gays in México] a campaign in the city against gay men and lesbians raising international concern as the local organization Grupo Orgulla Homosexual de Liberación is scheduled to host the International Lesbian and Gay Association Annual World Conference, [Black Community Board Opposes AIDS Facility], [46 Minority Groups Get Free Apple Computers], [CDC April Statistics on AIDS Cases in U.S.], [State Supreme Court Oks Death for Killer of Gay Men], [2nd Gay Group in Ghana Surfaces; Seeks Contact / by Rex Wockner] about the Club de Legayes reaching out to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for support, [Actor and AIDS Advocate Roger Pamplin Passes] about Roger Vernon Pamplin Jr., [Sharpton Supports Gays], [‘Integrated Gay Bashers Strike Hillcrest Again], and [Las Entendidas Hosts] about a Costa Rican lesbian organization that hosted the Second Latin American and Caribbean Lesbian Feminist Conference.
The section [BLK VEIL] is on page 43 and lists two obituaries: Roger Keith Bass and Leon Daniels Jr.
This is followed by the newly announced section [BLK ARTS] on page 45. The subsection [MOVIES] has one article titled [Not Enough, Too Many Minorities / by Alan Bell]; the subsection [MUSIC] has one article titled [Diana Ross Does Want She Wants / by Ron Smith]; the subsection [BOOKS] has one article [Lambda Awards, Recent Books / by Mark Haile]; and the subsection [THEATER] has one article [Black Beckers of Baldwin Hills] by Steve White.
The gossip column [Read My Lips] can be found on page 51 followed by [BLK LIST], a listing of gay and lesbian organizations, bars, and baths, runs from pages 53 to 55. 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 section is divided by international organizations, followed by regions in the U.S. The issue concludes with the classifieds section [BLK MARKET], starting on page 57, with personal ads divided by gender, then international and U.S. regions.
The back cover is a full-page advertisement for the Stonewall Union’s [THE OHIO LESBIAN GAY FREEDOM MARCH AND FESTIVAL] with keynote speaker Keith St. John.
There are advertisements throughout, including: Men of All Colors Together, New York Chapter [A Cultural, Political, & Social / Extravaganza] and [4th Annual Circle Line Cruise / Dancy Party / BOAT RIDE]; AIDS Hospice Foundation [We’re Changing Our Name To / AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION]; [TAKE PRIDE] about the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Pride Celebration; a full-page ad of Jewel’s Catch One events: [PICO BEACH], [Annual / Hawaiian / Boat Ride], [CONGRATULATIONS “BOSS”] to celebrate Jewel’s recent award, screening of Marlon Riggs’ film [TONGUES UNTIED], and [BROTHERS / IN THE NAME / OF LOVE] a benefit for Rue’s House; [Be A Buddy To Someone With AIDS] a support program by the AIDS Project Los Angeles; The AIDS Prevention Teams and Jewel’s Catch One co-present [THE SAFER SEX SHOW / in conjunction with the / DIONNE WARWICK FOUNDATION’S / THIRD ANNUAL AIDS BENEFIT GALA]; San Diego Lesbian & Gay Pride presents itinerary for [LOOK TO THE FUTURE / A NEW DECADE / OF LESBIAN & GAY PRIDE]; [AIDS / TREATMENT / NEWS / Published twice monthly by John S. James]; AIDS Prevention Team [Do you have questions / about HIV antibody testing / and what you can do?]; People of Color Prevention Programs of Gay Men’s Health Crisis and AIDS Initiative Department of Harlem Hospital Center’s event [PARADIGMS OF PRIDE: / COMMUNITY HEALTH MODELS FOR / GAY MEN OF COLOR] for Black, Latino, and other gay men of color; [The San Francisco Chapter of / Black & White Men Together / cordially invited both men & women / to join us for out / 10th Anniversary Convention]; [the BFP TEE]; [Hot, Horny & Healthy! / a Fun, Safer Sex Playshop] by the AIDS Prevention Team; photo ad for the Unity Steppers; [FOR BLACK GAY & / BISEXUAL MEN ONLY!] from the African American Men’s Health Project; [Buddies ‘n’ Pals / ‘n’ Partners] dating service for major cities in the U.S. and Canada; [An Afternoon with / JEWEL THAÏS-WILLIAMS / and / JOHN DURAN] with The Center, the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center; [COMPLETE AUTO DETAILING / TWO HOT HANDSOME MEN / WILL DETAIL YOU AUTO /BODY] by The Prestige Club Process; [ACT-UP/LA needs / your input • your leadership • your anger!]; [Lambda Alumni of U.C.L.A. / New Membership Drive]; photo ad of Kathy Perkins and Phill Barber who won the silver medal in the Pairs Competition at Physique ’89 practice posing for Physique ’90; [Unity Fellowship Church / A Church for All People]; [Black and White Men Together]; [LOOKING FOR MODELS / CREATIVE IMAGES]; photo obituary for Leon Daniels, Jr by his brother, Breelund; text box obituary for Jack Wheaten; [A DIFFERENT LIGHT / Gay and Lesbian Literature]; a photo ad of the cover from the program guide of the 14th San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, also known as Frameline [free your mind / no limit]; [970-WOLF]; a photo ad for the play [STANLEY BENNETT CLAY’S / RITUAL]; [Come Out! Come Home! / Fourth Annual National / Black Gay and Lesbian Conference] sponsored by Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum in Los Angeles, CA; [A Black on Black / Xchange for a / “Change” / B.G.M.X] or the The Black Gay Men’s Exchange support group; [976-HUNK]; [The Pleasure Chest Ltd.]; [Chocolate Joy Productions]; [GET A LITTLE… FUN!]; [ACCESS / The Center / The Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center] counseling services; [Reactions]; and [TALK LIVE!].
Place made
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States, North and Central America
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States, North and Central America
Washington, District of Columbia, 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
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, San Francisco county, California, United States, North and Central America
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States, North and Central America
San Diego, San Diego County, California, United States, North and Central America
Seattle, King County, Washington, United States, North and Central America
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Africa
Nairobi, Nairobi County, Kenya, Africa
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Latin America, North and Central America
Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana, Africa
San José, San José, Costa Rica, Latin America, North and Central 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
Race relations
U.S. History, 1969-2001
White supremacy movements
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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