Community Champ Chris Collins and Many Men, Many Voices

17 08 2010

If you’re in Philadelphia, PA, you have probably met or observed Chris Collins in action. In addition to the many hats that he wears, he’s an HIV/AIDS prevention warrior, tester and counselor at the Mazzoni Center.

He’s currently recruiting men for a weekend workshop at a retreat center outside of Philadelphia (from 9/10/10 to 9/12/10). The workshop, Many Men Many Voices (3MV for short), helps men examine themselves through sharing while learning HIV prevention strategies. Its also a time for relaxation and socialization. And, its free. You must be under the age of 24 years to participate.

There is an orientation meeting scheduled for August 26, 2010 @ the Mazzoni Center, located on 21 South 12th Street, 8th floor, from 4pm- 5pm.

For more information, dial (215) 563-0652.

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Joseph F. Beam: Reflections from the Heart of a Mother

17 08 2010

Courtesy of Philadelphia Gay News

In March 2007, Lee Carson, of the Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council, and Tyrone Smith and Kevin Jones, of the Archivists Society, sat down to speak to the mother of Joseph Beam, Ms. Dorothy Beam.

Joseph F. Beam (12/30/54-12/27/88) was born in Philadelphia, PA. A noted author and activists, he edited In the Life, the first Black gay anthology (published by Allyson Press in 1986).

According to the mother of Joseph Beam:

“There is some kind of fear in the black population that says they have to hide their gay sons. Religion frowns on this, but this is YOUR child… They ask: ‘Well how can you be so expressive and your son was gay?’ How can I not be? He’s my son!”

“…When Essex (Hemphill) came over to finish the book, he stayed at my house and got himself a job and an apartment… Essex wanted to finish the book because he loved Joe…one of the things Joe wanted was for gay people to be gay people. Joe’s books speak for themselves. When he wrote his books, there weren’t that many black gay books out. He would have written more but God called him to glory. But I thank Essex for coming over to finish it.”

“They say to pray for the gay sons. I don’t have to pray for God to change my son because that’s how he made him. If I’m going to pray for anything, I’m going to pray for God to change me into a white woman with blond hair.”

Dorothy Beam
March 24, 2007





Introduction: The 5 W’s of The Archivists Society

17 08 2010

Thank you for visiting the Black LGBT Archivists Society of Philadelphia.  Please visit of us weekly to view items from our standing collection and for information on our upcoming events. The 5 W’s of the Archivists Society shares more about us, our work, and ways that you can get involve. Please enjoy.

Who: In some ways, we are all archivists. We collect information. We store important dates. We place photographs in scrap books. We maintain our social and sexual networking sites.

The Archivists Society attempts to bring together individuals who have some level of interests in archiving different aspects of Philadelphia’s Black LGBT history.

What: The Archivists Society provides opportunities and lessons on how to create, exhibit and preserve items of historical significance.

To this date, the Archivists Society has collected over 950 artifacts: photographs, writings, period clothing, trophies, films and videos, songs, organizational fliers, etc.

When: As an ambitious goal, the Archivists Society attempts to document the presence of Black LGBT communities and their contributions from the beginning of Philadelphia’s history to its future.

The Archivists Society was founded in March 2007.

Where: Philadelphia has a rich history. Beneath its layers are the remarkable contributions of its Black LGBT communities, making Philadelphia an important site for these types of historical explorations.

Since the inception of the organization, it has exhibited these important artifacts in seven different venues in Philadelphia.

The Archivists Society’s standing collection is stored in a private location in Philadelphia, PA. The immediate goal is to find a location, place, or organization to safely and effectively house its collection.

Why: The health and vitality of a community is often told through its history. Before this history is told by others, its must be written by the community. The Black LGBT Archivists Society of Philadelphia attempts to engage individuals in this important process.