Published by
Bell, Alan, American
Edited by
Bell, Alan, American
Interview of
RuPaul, American, born 1960
Subject of
Warwick, Dionne, American, born 1940
Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, American, 1988 - 2003
King, Yolanda, American, 1955 - 2007
Unity Fellowship Church, American, founded 1982
Minority AIDS Project, American, founded 1985
Rev. Bean, Carl, American, 1944 - 2021
Rustin, Bayard, American, 1912 - 1987
Robinson, Max, American, 1939 - 1988
Cube, Ice, American, born 1969
Republican Party, American, founded 1854
Vandross, Luther, American, 1951 - 2005
Beam, Joseph F., American, 1954 - 1988
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, American, founded 1905
December 1993
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 38th issue of BLK magazine published December 1993. The front cover is printed in color and features an image RuPaul. RuPaul is dressed in drag, with a tight-fitting blue and pink dress with dark tights, and a blond hairdo. They are leaning on a “North Pole” sign with their right hand. A person in a Santa Clause outfit is seated on a chair and to the right of the cover. At the top and centered to the left, [BLK] is printed in bold, white, uppercase letters within a green rectangular box. Outside of the upper right corner of the [BLK] text box is the magazine issue information; in small, black text it reads [December 1993 / Vol. 4, No. 4 / Whole No. 38 / $2.95 U.S. / $3.95 Canada]. At the bottom and aligned to the left are the news sections listed in red text, [NEWS / WORD UP / PEOPLE / MUSIC / CARTOONS / BLK TEA / CLASSIFIEDS]. Centered and to the left of RuPaul’s chest is the magazine headline in pink text [RUPAUL] with the sub headline in blue text [GAG ON THE GLAMOUR]. There are 44 numbered pages, stapled the center fold, with articles, advertisements, classifieds, black and white photographs, and cartoon illustrations throughout.
The inside of the cover features an ad for the California AIDS Ride. The content opens with the section [WORD UP] by Leon Miller with eight short articles: [Will the Real Ice Cube Please Stand Up?], [Court Cancels Charger Charges] about Courtney Hall, [Homoeroticism on Cover of ‘Emerge’?], [University Destroys Insensitive Book], [British TV Hard on Soft Penises], [Gays, Blacks Target of Jokes] about a GOP dinner in Virginia, [Enlistment of Blacks to Disrupt Military], [Vandross in a Mackie Dress?] about Luther Vandross, and [Villains Want Pix of Hero’s Butt] regarding Zwanna: Son of Zulu, an Afrocentric comic book.
This is followed by seven letters to the editor in the section [BLK MAIL], with the [BLK] masthead on the follow page, p. 5. On page 6 is the section [BLK PEOPLE] by Michael Taylor about broad and general news regarding the Black gay and lesbian community. It is divided by city.
The cover story, which begins on page 8, is titled [RUPAUL] with a label headline [THE BLK INTERVIEW]. Written by Jamoo, the article begins with the success of RuPaul’s debut album “Supermodel of the World,” RuPaul’s introduction to drag at the age of 15, and the Hollywood offers to follow after. The interview portion discusses racism, the performance of appearance, the film Paris is Burning, among other personal topics of RuPaul.
This is followed by the section [BOOKS] on page 16, which mentions the book
“Sojourner: Black Gay Voices in the Age of AIDS,” the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture acquiring the Joseph F. Beam papers, and James Bladwin’s “Giovanni’s Room.” On page 18 begins [MUSIC] with three album reviews: [Will Downing “Love’s the Place to Be” / (Mercury)], [Vertical Hold “A Matter of Time” / (A&M)], and [Ultra Naté “One Woman’s Insanity” / (Warner Bros.)]. This is followed by [BLK BRIEFS] on page 21, providing articles in one or two sentences.
Several shorter articles appear under the section [BLK NEWS] complied by Alan Bell, Shawn Hinds, and Don Thomas. Beginning on page 32, these articles include: [Warwick Angry Over ABC’s ‘Day One’ Report], [U.S. Asylum for Gay Brazilian] about Marcelo Tenorio who became the first person to be granted political asylum in the nation due to his sexual orientation, [BGLLF National Conference Set] about the seventh National Black and Lesbian Conference and Institutes by the Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, [Yolanda King Oks Gay Rights], [Nash, Daugherty Take Top Titles] about the 16th annual Mr. And Miss Gay Black San Diego Pageant, Alexander Nash, and Casmia Daugherty, [Radio Station Denounces Tap Homophobia] about KACE, a Black-owned radio station, [D.C. Gets Latest Unity Fellowship Church Chapter], [U.S. AIDS Head Visits L.A.’s MAP] about the National AIDS Policy coordinator Christina Gebbie and the Minority AIDS Project, [Gays Participate in King March] with the Bayard Rustin Commemorative Alliance, [Black Judge Strikes Down Sodomy Statute] regarding Judge Calvin Johnson, [Skins Convicted in Cohens Death], [Zimbabwe to Test Herbal Cures for AIDS] regarding the country’s health minister, Timothy Stamp, [‘Thing’ Issues Final Magazine] about the Chicago-based zine, Thing, and the founders Robert Ford, Trent Adkins, and Lawrence Warren, [Blacks Remain at AIDS Risk] about a University of San Francisco report, [Whitman Clinic Max Robinson Center Opens], [Baptists Bash Gays in N.Y.] about the Rev. Theodore Jemison and the National Baptist Convention, [Lesbians, Gays March in Black Billiken Parade], [S.F. Mayor Fires Black Minister] about Mayor Frank Jordan and Rev. Eugene Lumpkin, [Group Conducts National Survey] conducted by the Los Angeles Sentinel, [Anti-Gay Songs Get Warning], [Black Gay Men Attend New York Retreat] about Adodi, a support group for Black gay and bisexual men founded in 1986 and their annual retreat, [Feds Free HIV+ Haitians After 20 Months] after the refugees were held at Guantanamo Bay, and [College Prexy to named to CDC] about Dr. David Satcher.
This is followed by [BLK VEIL] on page 30 and lists twenty-five obituaries: Wilmer Ames Jr., Kerrigan Black, Baron Leroy Castor, Wellmore Alfred Cooke, Melvin Dixon, James Gilbert, Marsha P. Johnson, Nathan Joshenberger, Larry Levan, Audre Lorde, M. “Marti” Corinne Mackey, Anthony J. Newborne, Preston Nicholson, Bert Ottley, Melvin G. Ross Jr., James Scott Jr., Rori Larele Seals, James Earl Smith Jr., Joyce A. Smith, William “E.B.” Smith, John “Adam” Sumlin, Garth Lee Tate Jr., Thomas Bernard Terrell, David E. Williams, and Vera Woodbury. The gossip column [BLK TEA] written by Preston G. Guider is on page 32.
The issue concludes with the section [BLK MARKET] on page 34 and the classifieds section [TALKING PERONALS] starting on page 36, with personal ads divided by gender, nation, then U.S. regions.
The back cover is a full-page advertisement [HIV It Can Affect At Anytime] by the Minority AIDS Project.
There are several advertisements throughout, including: [Games / Can / Change / the / World] for Gay Games IV & Cultural Festival; [The Southern California / Gay & Lesbian Exposition]; [No Regret]; [Gay and Lesbian Literature / A / DIFFERENT LIGHT / BOOKSTORE]; [Books / Bohemian]; [Black Lesbians and Gays / from Silence to Celebration / Beyond the 28 Days / 7th Annual National Black Gay and Lesbian / Conference and Institutes]; [For The Children]; [ultra naté / ONE WOMAN’S INSANITY]; [Me’Shell NdegéOcello / PLANTATION LULLABIES]; [EMPOWER LIFE]; [I Want It / ARIES]; [Unity / Fellowship / Church]; [9th Annual Reverse / Role / Comedy / Show] by the Minority AIDS Project; [COMMUNITY / PRESCRIPTION / SERVICE / A Mail-Order Pharmacy & AIDS Information Service]; [PERSONAL / HORSCOPES]; informational slip for the Assistant Directors Training Program; [Who / is / Missy / Caramichael / National Talent Search]; [THINK PINK / PUBLICATION]; [THE BLACK GAY MEN’S RAP]; [BLACKfire / BLACK LACE]; and [THE CENTER / men’s activities].
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
San Francisco, San Francisco county, California, United States, North and Central America
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, United States, North and Central America
San Diego, San Diego County, California, United States, North and Central America
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States, North and Central America
Salem, Marion County, Oregon, United States, North and Central America
Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States, North and Central America
Kingston, Jamaica, Caribbean, North and Central America
Pawling, Dutchess County, New York, United States, North and Central America
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States, North and Central America
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, United States, Caribbean, Latin America, North and Central America
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
African American - Latinx Solidarity
HIV/AIDS Activist Movement
magazines (periodicals)
Black Press
Caricature and cartoons
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
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.

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