James Arthur Baldwin was an American literary icon. Born in Harlem New York 1924, Baldwin was a renowned novelist, playwright, essayist, poet and social critic. He was a gay man. His work has influenced many, including famed writer/poet Maya Angelo and producer/filmmaker Spike Lee.
Bayard Rustin was born on March 17th 1912 Westchester Pennsylvania. He attended Wilberforce University, Cheyney State College and City College of New York; he never received a B.A. Mr. Rustin is cited for his involvement in The Civil Rights Movement, in which he was a leading activist from 1947-1955, and for his stances on pacifism and gay rights. He was influenced by civil rights activists W.E.B Du Bois and A. Phillip Randolph among others. He was also heavily influenced by the teaching of Mahatma Gandhi. He even travelled to India in 1948 to learn non violent civil resistance techniques from the leaders of the Gandhian movement. He influenced the lives and works of people such as Martin Luther King Jr. and James L Farmer Jr.
With February at my doorstep, I got to thinking about what I can do to acknowledge the significance of Black History Month in a way that’s meaningful to me. Black History in itself is filled with significance. But I wanted to dig a little deeper to see if as a gay man of colour, I can discover LGBT men/women who contributed to black history.
So this month my blog will be dedicated to celebrating black history by sharing the stories of black LGBT heroes whose legacy transcends generations and racial barriers.