Kevin Mumford | Brian Stauffer | 17079
The new book “Not Straight, Not White” by Kevin Mumford, a history professor at the University of Illinois-Champaign, is one of the few books to document the gay history of the black community in America. “There’s still a lot of white-centered gay narratives,” he told the Windy City Times.
He was familiar with and researched James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin before he began his book. “I learned a lot by reading their FBI files, reading their newspaper clippings, and focusing on their gay writings in a way that people hadn’t.”
He includes the life of Lorraine Hansberry, who visited the White House with James Baldwin in the early ’60s and whose archives he had special permission to view. “She’s really an icon of African-American culture. She wasn’t particularly out: she would have been out had she lived, I’m quite sure, but like Rustin, like Baldwin, she had to advocate for social justice and sort of remain silent on the question of her desire.”
Amazon | 17080
His book also owes much material to the collection of community activist and anthology editor Joseph Beam. Beam’s archives may have helped save Joseph Beam from obscurity. “Beam was really extraordinary because he corresponded with all kinds of people, and he saved all the letters that he got, and carbon copies of all of the letters that he sent. He’s an average guy, he’s an activist, worked at the Giovanni’s Room bookstore, he’s a waiter, but he has 15 boxes full of everyday letters, of being an activist, of being a community worker.”
Arizona State University Library archivist Nancy Godoy has been unearthing the treasures in the University’s collection of gay publications and memorabilia for a new exhibition.
On the cover of a newsletter dated Sept. 15, 1977, is a drag queen in full makeup, hair and dress, all gaping smile and wide eyes, white-gloved hand raised high above her head as if to throw all her cares away. The title of the periodical is “The Pride of Phoenix.” “When you think LGBT culture, you think this,” she says.
151 boxes of artifacts make up the BJ Bud Memorial Archives, which document the community’s history in Arizona from 1966 to 2015. She’ll be spreading awareness about the archives at this weekend’s Phoenix Pride Festival.
The boxes originally came from Hayden Library in Tempe, Arizona after being donated by The Valley of The Sun Gay and Lesbian Centre, and the archive is named after the late Harlene Bud, who founded the first Pheonix Gay Pride in the 1970s.
The Critics | Henry Scott Tuke | Warwick District Council | 17064
London’s Tate Britain held its first show dedicated to “queer art” -“Queer British Art 1861-1967” to mark 50 years since the decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales.
“We have works which demonstrate lots of different attitudes, from anxiety to celebration,” Curator Clare Barlow told the Observer, adding that other items came to acquire notoriety by accident. Walter Crane’s languorous 1877 painting, The Renaissance of Venus, is a good example. “Crane’s wife did not want him viewing or drawing nude women, so instead he used a well-known young male model, Alessandro di Marco, to stand in for the goddess of love.”
The exhibition includes a full-length portrait of Oscar Wilde by Robert Goodloe Harper Pennington, given to the writer as a wedding present by the artist and now being shown publicly in Britain for the first time. Next to it was Oscar’s prison cell door.
Queer British Art 1861-1967 was at Tate Britain, London SW1P, from 5 April to 1 October 2017.
Gilbert Baker | Pride Winnipeg | 17063
Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco-based activist and artist best known for creating the rainbow flag representing gay rights, has died at the age of 65. He was living in New York.
Baker, who was born in Kansas in 1951, was stationed in San Francisco in the early 1970s while serving in the US Army, at the start of the gay rights movement.
According to the website biography Baker began making banners for gay rights and anti-war protests, often at the request of Harvey Milk, who would become the first openly gay man elected to public office in California when he won the 1977 race for a seat on the San Francisco board of supervisors.
Milk rode under the first rainbow flags made by Baker at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978.