Celebrating Harlem's Rich Queer History

bruce nugent"It is evident to the most superficial observer that the centre of fashion, wealth, culture, and intelligence, must, in the near future, be found in the ancient and honorable village of Harlem."

--Harlem Monthly, 1893

As we approach the end of Black History Month, I thought I'd share with you a movement afoot in an area that has one of, if not the, richest black histories in the United States.

With a further dissection and examination of the history of this area, one will also notice one of, if not the, richest same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (SGL/LGBT) histories in the United States, and certainly in the five boroughs that make up New York City.

The area that I speak of is Harlem, whose rich history is often omitted from the timelines that recount and track the milestones of the LGBT movement. The Harlem Renaissance, which served as an incubator of, and set a precedent for, artistic, literary, philosophical and other professional works in the American black community, was as queer as it was black, many would say. Harlem's LGBT community has continued to play a vital role in the music, art, theater and literature scenes, and though responsible for producing some of the greatest artists and thinkers over the past century, it has remained a mystery to many.

Indeed, while the masses have been exposed to many contributions of Harlem's LGBT scene (e.g., voguing), the geneses of such artistic manifestations are often unknown or ignored.  From literary greats like Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Bruce Nugent, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansbury to show-stopping performers like Phil Black, Frankie "Half Pint" Jaxon, George Hanna, Gladys Bentley and Bessie Smith, to its later and current crop of authors, artists, artisans and activists, including Audre Lorde, Dolores Prida, Dr. Antonia Pantoja, Patrik-Ian Polk, Kehinde Wiley, Nathan Hale-Williams, Dr. Wilhelmina Perry and Rev. Joseph Tolton, Harlem continues to be home to a LGBT community that is having an impact on the world. By 

Celebrating Harlem's Rich Queer History (Huff Post)

 

Welcome to Ealy Mays Artworks

Celebration of over 150 years of Black Literary and Artistic development in Paris

Here you will find the works of one of the most prolific African American artists. Based in Paris, France, this selection includes current masterpieces as well retrospectives from a body of over 30 years as an ethnic artist painting in the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Your choice of paintings, prints, posters, postcards, puzzles, memorabilia, T-shirts, collectibles, accessories,and more, is only a click away. Read more

It is the spectator and not life, that really mirrors art”  The Picture of Dorian Gray …Oscar Wilde

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