Social Scene

Philadelphia’s Social Scene for Black LGBTs: 1950s to the present

at the William Way Community Center,  1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA

(Walk past the receptionist, down the hall and turn right into Board Room)

April 21, 2012 to May 19, 2012 — FREE

An installation in the Pop-up Museum of Queer History (along with other collectors/artists/exhibitors)

by Kevin Trimell Jones, Black LGBT Archivists Society of Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s social and nightlife scenes have provided an important outlet for residents and visitors throughout history. As early as the 1950s (perhaps earlier), Black LGBT men and women traveled to Philadelphia during the annual Penn Relay festivities for private social gatherings. These festive occasions helped organize and maintain important social and sexual ties and gave birth to Philadelphia’s early Black gay community. The connections were also a source for political organizing and early HIV prevention and AIDS education. Philadelphia’s Social Scene for Black LGBTs: 1950s to the present is an interactive, photo exhibit that honors this important and trans-formative history.

Twenty-nine photographs representing this history is being displayed at the William Way Community Center (along with installations by other queer historians) until May 19, 2012.

Are you interested in music from Philadelphia, and what local residents and visitors likely listened to while partying and socializing? CLICK ON THE SONG TITLE TO HEAR MUSIC OF THE TIME (via YouTube clip).

Music of Philadelphia 1950s

Music of Philadelphia 1960s

Music of Philadelphia 1970s

Music of Philadelphia 1980s

(Recent) Sounds of Philadelphia Houses, the Ballroom Scene and Voguing

You can also learn more about:

-The Gentlemen of the West Set, click here.

-Former Ms. West Set, Joan Myers Brown (Founder of PHILADANCO), click here.

-Joseph Beam, through the eyes of mother Dorthy Beam, click here.

-The Philadelphia House and Ballroom/Vogue Scene (and The Crystal Balls), click here.

-Artist Spenser Michaels designs for Simply Christopher parties, click here.

-Philadelphia’s radically inclusive Gospel choir, A Voice For All People, click here.

-The Sisters of Beta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc., click hear.

Did you visit the exhibit? What do you think? Share your thoughts below.

One response

27 04 2012

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