Happy Black Gay Pride!!!

27 04 2012

This is my favorite weekend in Philadelphia. For at least the last 60 years, Black LGBT men and women would travel to our great City for the annual Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania (which have been celebrated since 1895). Even at turbulent times when it wasn’t safe to be Black or gay in America, our elders would gather in private homes and at the City’s finest ballrooms (in West Philadelphia) for the best parties, dinners, award shows and other happenings.

We continue that tradition today. During this weekend, the local family will come out–the weekly bar hoppers and socialites, as well as those who make an appearance once or twice a year. Many will visit Philadelphia for the Relays, and enjoy the host of parties planned by the Philadelphia black gay pride organization. Even the ancestors will gather–remembering when they were “there” and bidding wishes of fun, laughter, safety, responsibility and love to all of us .

If you’re in Philadelphia this weekend, there are plenty of opportunities to learn our history, while taking in the sights of Penn Relays and Black Gay Pride. Take lots of photographs. Make new friends. Meet your new lover. Network. Create new opportunities. Continue the tradition.

Philadelphia’s Social Scene for Black LGBTs: 1950s to the present, photography exhibit, FREE, now till 5/19,  click here.

Philadelphia Black Gay Pride weekend events, click here.





Bayard Rustin Centennial Planning Meetings in Philly, April 4

1 04 2012

This is a great way to celebrate our local and national histories:

 

From: Mandy Carter, Bayard Rustin Centennial Project of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and Candice Thompson, William Way LGBT Community Center

Re: Invitation to Bayard Rustin Centennial Planning Meetings

Wednesday, April 4, 2012. 12pm-1:30pm & 6:30pm-8pm

William Way LGBT Community Center. Philadelphia, PA

Save the date! Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bayard Rustin Centennial Planning Meetings

Afternoon Meeting. 12:00 pm – 1:30pm

Evening Meeting. 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

William Way LGBT Community Center Ball Room

1315 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19107

Phone: 215-732-2220

www.waygay.org

 

March 17, 2012 marked the 100th birthday of the late civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (1912-2012).

Bayard Rustin was born March 17, 1912 in West Chester, PA. While perhaps best known as the architect of the historic 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. It was also his remarkable 60-year movement career that not only included his leadership in the civil rights movement but also the movements for economic justice and peace here in the U.S. and internationally—all the while being a Black openly gay man.

In preparation to engage Pennsylvania’s communities and campuses for the year-long series of Bayard Rustin’s centennial events there will be two planning meetings held at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia, PA.  One in the afternoon and one in the evening to accommodate people’s schedules for attending. Or, folks are welcome to attend both.

Please RSVP to Candice Thompson cthompson@waygay.org, Director of Center Services, and indicate which of the two meetings that you are attending.  Or, folks are welcome to attend both. Can’t make the meetings but are interested in staying in touch? We’ll make sure to add you to the contact list.

Founded in 2003, the National Black Justice Coalition is a national civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.  Our mission is to eradicate racism and homophobia.

The Bayard Rustin Centennial Project of the National Black Justice Coalition is collaborating with Walter Naegle, Bayard’s surviving partner and Executor/Archivist of the Estate of Bayard Rustin.  And, with Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, co-producers/co-directors of the award-winning film “Brother Outsider-The Life of Bayard Rustin”. (Bayard Rustin: March 17, 1912- August 24, 1987)

info@nbjc.org . www.nbjc.org . www.facebook.com/nationalblackjusticecoalition





Former Miss West Set & Philadanco Founder Discusses Her Life in Dixon Gottschild’s New Book [1/14/2012]

13 01 2012

Brenda Dixon Gottschild, a supporter of the work of the Archivists Society, has written a new book that discusses the life and achievement’s of America’s Black Ballerina Joan Myers Brown. The book is entitled “Joan Myers Brown & the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance”. Brown is the founder of Philadanco and a former Miss West Set–a designation awarded to women of notoriety by the Gentlemen of the West Set. The West Set was one of Philadelphia’s first black gay organizations.

This Saturday, January 14, 2012, The Brother’s Network, will host a discussion featuring author Brenda Dixon Gottschild and Joan Myers Brown.

WHERE: Moonstone Arts Center, 110A South 13th Street, 2nd floor, Philadelphia WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at 1 p.m. Contact The Brother’s Network for more information at comments@thebrothersnetwork.org .

The book description (from Amazon.com): “Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) and the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, Joan Myers Brown’s personal and professional histories reflect both the hardships and the accomplishments of African Americans in the artistic and social developments through the twentieth century and into the new millennium. Dixon Gottschild deftly uses Brown’s career as the fulcrum to leverage an exploration of the connection between performance, society, and race—beginning with Brown’s predecessors in the 1920s—and a concert dance tradition that has had no previous voice to tell its story from the inside out. Augmented by interviews with a score of dance professionals, including Billy Wilson, Gene Hill Sagan, Rennie Harris, Milton Myers, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Ronald K. Brown, Joan Myers Brown’s background and richly contoured biography are object lessons in survival—a true American narrative.”




COLOURS Board Announces Passing of Robert K. Burns, Exec. Dir.

8 12 2011

From the article, "Hell to Pay" in the Cleveland Scene (click for article)

The following message was posted to the Facebook page of the COLOURS Organization, Inc. concerning the passing of our brother Robert K Burns (36 years old):

The Board of Directors and Staff of the COLOURS Organization, Inc. sadly announce the passing of its Executive Director Robert K. Burns, which occurred Thursday, December 8, 2011.

Robert K. Burns, a Cleveland, Ohio native, served as a leader in Philadelphia’s LGBT community. In the past years, Robert became an integral part of the development of HIV prevention programs and research in Philadelphia for LGBT people of color, specifically African American MSM.

The Board of Directors and Staff members are committed to continuing the passion and dedication to the health and empowerment of LGBT people of color that Robert exemplified.

Sincerely,

John F. Clayton Jr.
President of COLOURS Board of Director

 





RIP Robert K. Burns: friend, brother, fighter

8 12 2011

RIP Robert K. Burns

This morning, I learned of the death of our community leader, my brother and our fellow co-labourer, Robert K. Burns. He passed around 4:30am, surrounded by his friends and fellow members of the House of Blahnik.

Robert served the Philadelphia community by being a voice for many. He often echoed the call and sounded the horn on why we must lower HIV rates and remain community-minded throughout the stuggle.  I first learned of Robert K. Burns when I picked up one of his vogue-beat CDs over eight years ago, long before he and I would later become friends and “neighbors” in Philadelphia [and while I never joined a house or even vogued in public, I still “vogue down” when any of those songs from that CD come on my playlist]. Accepting that death is a functional part of life is reality. Accepting Robert’s passing is sobering.  Love and prayers to his family and the COLOURS organization.

Here’s more on Robert’s life: https://archivistssociety.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/presenting-community-leader-robert-k-burns/

PGN Family Portrait: http://www.epgn.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Family+Portraits-+Robert+Burns+&id=10691582#comments_10691582

Kevin Trimell Jones

December 8, 2011

9:08am





The Legendary Crystal Ball Programs, 2000-2004

4 06 2011

Visit the online exhibit of Crystal Ball Programs from 2000 to 2004: https://archivistssociety.wordpress.com/crystal-ball-2000-2004/

The Crystal Ball 2000

Invite - Aug 19, 2000

"Fearsome Threesome" Program

"Fearsome Threesome" - Aug 19, 2000





An Epic Return to the Crystal Ball (Sat, June 4, Philly) FREE

4 06 2011

The community is buzzing about the return of the Crystal Ball–an effort by the COLOURS Organization to creatively incorporate HIV prevention messages within a free ball. The first Crystal Ball took place in 1997. Tonight’s return is historic.

Check out this great coverage by the Philadelphia Gay News.

Link: http://epgn.com/view/full_story/13524997/article-Colours-Crystal-Ball-looks-into-the-future?instance=home_news