Published by
Bell, Alan, American
Edited by
Bell, Alan, American
Subject of
African National Congress, South African, founded 1912
Nkoli, Simon, South African, 1957 - 1998
Gay and Lesbian Organization of Witwatersrand, South African, 1988 - 1997
Savoy Ballroom, American, 1926 - 1958
Fauset, Jessie Redmon, American, 1882 - 1961
Johnson, Charles, American
Locke, Alain LeRoy, American, 1885 - 1954
White, Walter F., American, 1893 - 1955
Johnson, James Weldon, American, 1871 - 1938
W.E.B. Du Bois, American, 1868 - 1963
Hughes, Langston, American, 1902 - 1967
Baldwin, James, American, 1924 - 1987
Rustin, Bayard, American, 1912 - 1987
Salsa Soul Sisters, American, founded 1974
National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays, American, 1978 - 1990
National Association of Black and White Men Together, American, founded 1980
Gay Men of African Descent, American, founded 1986
Black Men's Xchange, American, founded 1989
Beam, Joseph F., American, 1954 - 1988
Lorde, Audre, American, 1934 - 1992
Hemphill, Essex, American, 1957 - 1995
Marlon Riggs, American, 1957 - 1994
Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, American, 1988 - 2003
Rev. Bean, Carl, American, 1944 - 2021
Minority AIDS Project, American, founded 1985
Queer Nation, American, founded 1990
Unity Fellowship Church, American, founded 1982
AIDS Healthcare Foundation, founded 1987
Hall, Arsenio, American, born 1956
National Organization for Women, American, founded 1966
Folayan, Ayofemi Stowe, American, born 1950
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, American, 1938 - 1949
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American, founded 1958
January 1991
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 26th issue of BLK Magazine published January 1991. The front cover, printed with a purple hint, features a black and white image of Africa’s first lesbian and gay pride march in South Africa; there are individuals marching with one holding a sign that reads [PRIDE MARCH]. At the top and centered off to the left, [BLK] is printed in bold, white, uppercase letters within a purple rectangular box. Above the text box in small, white, uppercase letters it reads [THE NATIONAL BLACK LESBIAN AND GAY NEWSMAGAZINE], fitting across the length of the textbox. Outside of the upper right corner of the [BLK] text box in small, white text it reads [Vol. 3, No. 1 / Whole No. 26 / January 1991]. The headlines, located below the magazine title, are printed in white text with the descriptions in purple text; they read: [HISTORY: / AFRICAN-AMERICAN / LESBIANS AND / GAY MEN BECOME / A MOVEMENT / TODAY: / BLACK AND WHITE / LESBIANS AND GAY MEN / WORK FOR RIGHTS / IN SOUTH AFRICA / AS USUAL: / NEWS / CARTOONS / ARTS / WORD UP / CLASSIFIEDS / PLUS: / NEW, LARGER LIPS]. There are 52 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 a free, anonymous, AIDS antibody test [WHAT’S WORSE… / 20 MINUTES OF FEAR AND WORRYING / OR… / A LIFETIME OF FEAR AND WORRYING? / CONSIDER GETTING THE AIDS ANTIBODY TESTED TODAY.]. The content opens with the section titled [Word Up / News of the Outrageous, the Amusing, the Pathetic and the Unexpected] by Leon Miller with four articles: [The Whitney Houston Watch] about Whitney Huston addressing her sexuality, [Chase’s Invisible Events] suggesting readers to submit events to the calendar maker, [You Said What Kind of Job?] about the Gay and Lesbian Organisation {sic} of the Witwatersrand, and [Call You One, Raise You One] about a McDonald’s ad showcasing two Black boys. The section ends with [Tell the Tale], which encourages readers to submit a funny, strange, or odd story to the publication.
This is followed the [BLK] mast head on page 4, with three letters to the editor in the section [BLK MAIL] on pages 5 and 6.
The cover story, which begins on page 9, is titled [Clauras and Wendies / Black and white and colored women and men / together in South Africa] with the label headline [COVER STORY]. Written by Gary Wotherspoon and Clive Fare, the article highlights the differences of everyday life between the white and Black gay communities in South Africa, the lesbian and gay periodical ‘Exit’, the call and creation of the gay political presence, legislation such as the Group Areas Act and the Immortality Act, and the rise of lesbians and gay men leaders in the anti-apartheid movement.
A feature story, which begins on page 15, is titled [Becoming a Movement / The Growth of Group Consciousness / in Black Gay Men and Lesbian Women] with the label headline [HISTORY]. Written by Rodney Christopher, the article covers how race has largely been the deciding factor of one’s life, leaving sexuality and gender to be private and secondary. Christopher dives into the creation of African American lesbian and gay community in spaces like the Savoy Ballroom, followed by the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Stonewall Riots. The article also makes mention of an influential group of Harlem elite philanthropists known as “The Six”: Jessie Redmon Fauset, Charles Johnson, Alain Locke, Walter White, Casper Holsteing and James Weldon. Other individuals mentioned throughout the article include James Mercer Langston Hughes, Richard Bruce Nugent, Bayard Rustin, The Daughters of Bilitis, The Mattachine Society, and Joseph Beam. One quote from the article is printed in larger font [“The longest continuously operating gay events in American history were the lavish black homosexual drag balls that began in the 1890’s.”].
Several shorter articles appear under the section [BLK NEWS]. Beginning on page 21, these articles include: [Leadership Forum Gears Up for Fourth Conference / by Mark Haile] about the 1991 National Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Conference, with Audre Lorde as the keynote speaker, [Carl Bean Starts Fast to Keep AIDS Program Open] about the Minority Aids Project, [Black Gay Man to Sit on City Gay, Lesbian Panel] about Milton Farquhar, a self-described Taoist ecofeminist queer, [D.C. Organization Gets New Name, New Officers] the D.C. Coalition of Black Gay Men and Women has become the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gay Men with officers Louise Gant, Kevin Taylor, Courtney Williams, and Darren Vuckner, [Ald. Robert Shaw Joins in 43-0 Hate Crimes Vote] Chicago becomes one of the first cities to pass a gay-inclusive hate crimes law by a unanimous vote, [Harvey to Quit Whitman] Jim Harvey plans to develop an African American AIDS service center, [CDC November Statistics on AIDS Cases in U.S.], [Neglect Charged as Threat to Black Women Rises / by Mark Haile] regarding the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, [Black Gay Video Gets $] Frameline, a non-profit lesbian and gay media arts organization, awards Catherine Saalfield a grant to create a film based on Jacqueline Woodson’s personal essay, [Liberian Civil War Dooms African Gay Organization] Club Lambda, the only gay organization in Liberia, has disbanded due to the civil war, [Black C.A.R.E. Project Enters New Research Phase] about the Black Community AIDS Research and Education Project, [White Activists Confront Arsenio Hall on TV Show] about members of Queer Nation, including Scott Rabbie, [Meeting on Racism Held] held by the Harvey Milk Club of San Diego, including Lesbians and Gays of African Descent United, Gay and Lesbian Asian Pacific Islander Social Support, Black and White Men Together, and Orgullo, [Black Lesbian, Gay Cultural Gest Set for February / by Mark Haile] the African-American Gay and Lesbian Cultural Alliance hosting their second annual arts festival, [Woman, 19, Poses as Man] a 19 year old is arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and [Blacks Get Stein Posts] Lorenzo Williams, Alexander Robinson, and Mauro Montoya are officers of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.
The section [BLK VEIL] starts on page 31 and lists eights obituaries: Milton Bonds, Brian Matthew Day, Jeffrey Thomas Franklin, Lyndon Elton Green, James Harp, Henry Carnell Lewis, Joseph James Sterling Jr, and Emory Warber Stewart III. This is followed by the section [BLK ARTS] on page 33. The subsection [THEATER] has one article titled [‘Nubian’ Shows Black Gay Bias]; the subsection [DANCE MUSIC REVIEWS] has one article titled [Motown Moves into the 90s / by D.J. Marius]; and the subsection [MUSIC NEWS] with the article [Lawsuits, Drugs, Death and Fakery / by Ron Smith]. The gossip column titled [Read My Lips] written by Preston G. Guider is on page 37. The issue concludes with the classifieds section [BLK MARKET] starting on page 40, with personal ads divided by gender, nation, then U.S. regions.
The back cover is a full-page advertisement for [The Black Line].
The object came with an insert: a paid-postage flyer titled “Discs, Discs, Discs, Discs! Pick any 8 CDs for a penny. Plus a chance to get one more CD – Free!”. The two-sided flyer lists several CDs across many music genres.
There are advertisements throughout, including: [SOMEONE / YOU CAN / TRUST / Culver City / Mazda]; [GENE’S / AUDIO VIDEO]; [Soho Tea & Coffee]; a program for the Second Annual African American Gay & Lesbian Cultural Festival; [MARLON RIGGS]; [RAKEVIN / INCOME TAX SERVICE]; [LIVING / WITH HIV] by the American Social Health Association, National Association of People of AIDS, and Burroughs Welcome Co.; [“Come Out! / Come Home!”] registration form for the 4th annual 1991 National Black Gay and Lesbian Conference; [Jewel’s Catch One] calendar of events for February 1991; [Valentine Gift Ideas / The Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center / 2 Smash Broadway Hits !!!]; [the / BFP TEE]; [STOP NOW] by the Open Quest Institute; [SKIP AND BEAR] a personal thank you ad; [STUCKER / PHARMACY]; [A DIFFERENT LIGHT / Gay and Lesbian Literature]; [USC / People with cognitive impair- / ment due to HIV infection are / needed for the Phase II study of / Peptide-T…]; [Visiting The Bay Area?? / GAYBOOK]; [Buddies ‘n’ Pals / ‘n’ Partners] dating service for major cities in the U.S. and Canada; [THINK / ABOUT IT: / Deciding to take the test. / GMHC]; [The more you put the / “word out” about / Black Men’s Dating / Service]; [970-WOLF]; [SCWU LA/VALLEY invites you to a / Special Interest Program featuring black / lesbian-feminist activist / SABRINA SOJOURNER]; [Black and White / Men Together]; [ACT-UP/LA needs / your input • your leadership • your anger!]; [THE CENTER / LEGAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT]; [I’ve always said, / “If I ever got / AIDS, I don’t / know what / I’d do.” / I was right.] ad stating the mission of AIDS Project Los Angeles; [INCOME TAX / BIGGER REFUNDS / RUCKER’S / TAX SERVICE]; [Unity / Fellowship / Church / A Church for All People]; [B.M.X. / Purposely and / Conscientiously / Afrocentric]; [TRIBUTE / MINORITY / AIDS / PROJECT / RUE’S HOUSE / MAXINE WATERS]; [FOR BLACK GAY & / BISEXUAL MEN ONLY!] from the African American Men’s Health Project; performance ad of John Patterson; ad by Producers of Orange County’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Celebration (OCCP) asking for volunteers and donations; [THE / HOLLYWOOD / SPA / COMPOUND / A MAN’S PRIVATE PRESERVE]; [Serving the Needs / of the People / VISITING NURSE HOMES SERVICES]; [ALCOHOL IS / NOT A SAFE / LUBRICANT. / HIGH = / HIGH RISK]; .]; [HOT / TALKING / PERSONALS! / Connections USA]; [Human Rights / Campaign Fund / Employment Opportunities]; [BIJOU Video]; [Super Shaper Buns Briefs by Rush Industries]; [The Home Of Quality Mann]; [THING / SHE KNOWS /WHO SHE IS] a Chicago-based underground zine; [The Pleasure Chest Ltd.]; [Reactions]; two meetings by hosted by GMHC [MEN / MEETING / MEN // EROTICIZING / SAFER / SEX]; [THE BODY BLACK CALENDAR 1991]; [GET A LITTLE… FUN!]; [Subscribe to the leading interracial gay magazine / QUARTERLY INTERCHANGE]; [Adam & Company. VHS Only]; [Get It On With Hot Men / 1-900-463-4MEN]; and [HOT / TALK / ACTION].
Place made
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
Johannesburg, South Africa, Africa
Cape Town, South Africa, Africa
Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, Africa
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
Seattle, King County, Washington, United States, North and Central America
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, San Francisco county, California, United States, North and Central America
San Diego, San Diego County, California, United States, North and Central America
Anaheim, Orange County, California, United States, North and Central America
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
HIV/AIDS Activist Movement
magazines (periodicals)
Associations and institutions
Black Press
Caricature and cartoons
International affairs
Mass media
Race relations
U.S. History, 1969-2001
Women's organizations
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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