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Catalog Data

Published by:
Alan Bell, American  Search this
Edited by:
Alan Bell, American  Search this
Subject of:
Rev. James Cleveland, American, 1931 - 1991  Search this
Hetrick-Martin Institute, American, founded 1979  Search this
Thomas Andrew Dorsey, American, 1899 - 1993  Search this
The Roberta Martin Singers, American, 1933 - 1970  Search this
The Caravans, American, founded 1952  Search this
Rev. Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, American, 1915 - 1984  Search this
Savoy Records, American, founded 1945  Search this
Minority AIDS Project, American, founded 1985  Search this
National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., founded 1919  Search this
Stevie Wonder, American, born 1950  Search this
Mahalia Jackson, American, 1911 - 1972  Search this
Ma Rainey, American, 1886 - 1939  Search this
Edwin Hawkins, American, born 1943  Search this
Quincy Jones, American, born 1933  Search this
Aretha Franklin, American, 1942 - 2018  Search this
Natalie Cole, American, 1950 - 2015  Search this
Ray Charles, American, 1930 - 2004  Search this
Gladys Knight, American, born 1944  Search this
Shirley Caesar, American  Search this
Albertina Walker, American, 1929 - 2010  Search this
Cassietta George, American, 1929 - 1995  Search this
Dorothy Norwood, American, born 1935  Search this
Sgt. Perry Watkins, American, 1948 - 1996  Search this
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Jewel Thais-Williams, American  Search this
Rue's House, American, 1989 - 1997  Search this
United States Congress, American, founded 1789  Search this
National LGBTQ Task Force, American, founded 1974  Search this
Congressional Black Caucus, American, founded 1971  Search this
Ron Dellums, American, born 1935  Search this
Augustus Hawkins, American, 1907 - 2007  Search this
John Lewis, American, 1940 - 2020  Search this
John Conyers Jr., American, 1929 - 2019  Search this
Charles Rangel, American, born 1930  Search this
Louis Stokes, American, born 1925  Search this
Rep. Maxine Waters, American, born 1938  Search this
Grupo Gay da Bahía, Brazilian, founded 1980  Search this
National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, American, 1985 - 1998  Search this
National Association of Black and White Men Together, American, founded 1980  Search this
Sabrina Sojourner, American, born 1952  Search this
African-American Lesbian and Gay Alliance, American, founded 1986  Search this
Whitney Houston, American, 1963 - 2012  Search this
Desmond Tutu, South African, born 1931  Search this
Rev. Jesse Jackson, American, born 1941  Search this
Arsenio Hall, American, born 1956  Search this
Big Daddy Kane, American, born 1968  Search this
ink on paper (fiber product)
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 1/4 × 1/8 in. (27.4 × 20.9 × 0.3 cm)
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Seattle, King County, Washington, United States, North and Central America
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, San Francisco county, California, United States, North and Central America
Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, United States, North and Central America
Bahia, Brazil, Latin America, South America
Zambia, Africa
Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, United States, North and Central America
Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky, United States, North and Central America
Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States, North and Central America
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Jamaica Plain, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
February 1991
This is the 27th issue of BLK Magazine published February 1991. The front cover features a black and white image of Rev. James Cleveland. Cleveland is dressed in a suit, his jacket made of reflective material, with rings on each of his pinky fingers. He is standing, with his left leg stepping on a box and his hands gathered in the center and looking directly at the camera. The backdrop seems to be a simple curtain with folds. At the top and centered off to the left, [BLK] is printed in bold, white, uppercase letters within a light purple rectangular box. Above the text box in small, white, uppercase letters it reads [THE NATIONAL BLACK LESBIAN AND GAY NEWSMAGAZINE], fitting across the length of the textbox. Outside of the upper right corner of the [BLK] text box are the news sections listed in white text, [NEWS / CARTOONS / ARTS / WORD UP / READ MY LIPS / CLASSIFIEDS]. Located below the magazine title in small, white text it reads [Vol. 3, No. 2 / Whole No. 27 / February 1991]. The headline [Gospel Legend James Cleveland / Is Called to That / Mass Choir in the Sky] is printed across Cleveland’s legs. There are 44 numbered pages, with articles, advertisements, classifieds, black and white photographs, and cartoon illustrations throughout.
The inside of the cover features an ad for the Minority AIDS project for a free, anonymous, AIDS antibody test [WHAT’S WORSE… / 20 MINUTES OF FEAR AND WORRYING / OR… / A LIFETIME OF FEAR AND WORRYING? / CONSIDER GETTING THE AIDS ANTIBODY TESTED TODAY.]. The content opens with the section titled [Word Up / News of the Outrageous, the Amusing, the Pathetic and the Unexpected] by Leon Miller with five short articles: [Whitney and ‘That Person’] regarding her sexuality, [Tutu: Yes Yes] about South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, [Jesse Jackson Affirms Support] Rev. Jackson makes it clear he supports lesbian and gay rights in the Advocate’s Black History Month issue, [Arsenio Talks, a Little] about Arsenio Hall responding to rumors regarding Roseanne, Madonna, and Eddie Murphy, and [Seeing Reality] about Big Daddy Kane appearing in Playgirl magazine.
This is followed the [BLK] mast head on page 4, with five letters to the editor in the section [BLK MAIL].
A feature story, which begins on page 10, is titled [High on Milk / New York school gives lesbian and gay / people of color a fighting chance] with a label headline [INSTITUTIONS]. Written by Cary Alan Johnson, the article highlights the Hetrick-Martin Institute and its Harvey Milk Off Site High School, the only accredited academic setting for kids who have trouble staying in regular schools due to discrimination based on their sexual orientation in New York City. The school works alongside the Gay and Lesbian Community Health Project to promote health awareness. Students enrolled include those who live in group homes, shelters, and ball Houses, such as Mahogany LaBeija. One quote from the article is printed in larger font, “Though there are a number of African-American counselors, there is a lack of people of colors in leadership positions to act as role models.”
The cover story, which beings on page 13, is titled [Heading for Home / Gospel legend James Cleveland is called by / the Lord to that mass choir in the sky] with a label headline [COVER STORY]. Written by Mark Haile, the article covers the recent death of Reverend James Cleveland, with BLK reporting the cause of death was due to HIV-related complications, differing from the reports by mainstream media. It traces the history of Rev. Cleveland as the Father of Gospel and founder of the Cornerstone Institutional Baptist Church in Los Angeles, covers the rumors touching on Rev. Cleveland’s sexuality, the relationship between the church and homophobia, the many artists Rev. Cleveland worked with, and his funeral service.
Several shorter articles appear under the section [BLK NEWS]. Beginning on page 17, these articles include: [U.S. Army Gives Sgt. Watkins $135G Plus Promotion] about the U.S. army settling a 10-year legal battle against SFC Perry Watkins (NMAAHC 2018.108.13 features a cover story on Sgt. Watkins), [Black Lesbian Org Starts] about Ladies Concerned, the new professional women’s organization of African American lesbians, with officers Stephanie Farrington, Cheryl Butler, Liz Mays, Angela Vaughn, Rue Thaïs-Williams, and Sandra Domingue, [Congress OKs Key Bills; Black Voting Records Best / by Belinda Rochelle] regarding legislations impacting the lives of lesbians and gay men in general, people of color in particular, [CDC December Statistics on AIDS Cases in U.S.], [EACH Alive Despite Fire] about the Early Advocacy and Care for HIV program, which combines the efforts of the Gay Men of Color Consortium, the American Indian AIDS Institute, Gay Asian-Pacific Alliance Community HIV Project, Black and White Men Together / Men of All Colors Together, and Community United in Response to AIDS / SIDA, [Knight Wins Competition] about Misty Knight, the Miss Gay Black Ohio who was crowned the new Miss Midwest USA (NMAAHC 2018.108.22 features a related article), [Coalition Seeks to Stem Return to Unsafe Sex] about the National Relapse Prevention Network, [Latin City Bans Gay Bias] Bahia, Brazil becomes the first city in South America to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, where Brazil’s oldest gay organization Grupo Gay da Bahia resides, [AIDS Hits 1/3 of Adult Population in Parts of Africa] with a high rate of AIDS killings adults in various African countries, many kids are becoming orphans, [Black TV Gets Probation] the 26 year-old was given two-year’s probation after enrolling in a high school and joining the cheer squad (NMAAHC 2018.108.22 features a related article), [Black Cop Charges Bias] about Trooper Jerome Martin, [Ethiopia Backs Gay Org] about Ethiopia supporting the International Lesbian and Gay Association to receive consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, [AALGA Gets $5K Grant] about the African-American Lesbian Gay Alliance of Atlanta, [Activists Protest Safari Philly Bar’s Congo Night] protesters from Queer Action and the local Black and White Men Together chapter call out racist imagery and language in bar’s ads for “Oriental Express” and “Congo Night” themed nights, [Black Lesbian Gets Prize] the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists award Sabrina Sojourner for her article “Accepting Difference” published in the July 1990 issue of BLK (NMAAHC 2018.108.20 features the article), and [Women Form ‘Sisters’] about the Revolutionary Sisters of Color, a self-described group of socialist feminist women of color, calling for an end of the Persian Gulf War.
This is followed by the section [BLK ARTS] on page 27. The subsection [THEATER] has one article titled [‘Hits Home’ Hits D.C.]; the subsection [MUSIC] has one article titled [Third Whitney Album Arrives / by D.J. Marius]; and the subsection [MUSIC NEWS] with the article [Vanilla Ice and His Ass / by Ron Smith]. The gossip column [Read My Lips] is on page 31. The issue concludes with the classifieds section [BLK MARKET] starting on page 35, with personal ads divided by gender, nation, then U.S. regions.
The back cover is a full-page advertisement for [The Black Line].
There are several advertisements throughout. These include: [SOMEONE / YOU CAN / TRUST / Culver City / Mazda]; [KEITH MEDICAL GROUP]; [RAKEVIN / INCOME TAX SERVICE]; [LIVING / WITH HIV] by the American Social Health Association, National Association of People of AIDS, and Burroughs Welcome Co.; [FOR BLACK GAY & / BISEXUAL MEN / ONLY!] from the African American Men’s Health Project; two meetings by hosted by GMHC [MEN / MEETING / MEN / EROTICIZING / SAFER / SEX]; [THINK ABOUT IT: / Deciding to take the test. / GMHC]; [The more you put the / “word out” about / Black Men’s Dating / Service]; [STUCKER / PHARMACY]; [Serving the Needs / of the People / VISITING NURSE HOMES SERVICES]; [Visiting The Bay Area?? / GAYBOOK]; [GENE’S / AUDIO VIDEO]; [Subscribe to the leading interracial gay magazine / QUARTERLY INTERCHANGE]; [GAYELLOW PAGES]; [Cheap Thrills / BIJOU Video]; [WELCOME ABOARD SAN DIEGO! / BLACK MEN’S XCHANGE]; [Black and White / Men Together]; [ACT-UP/LA needs / your input • your leadership • your anger!]; [THE CENTER / LEGAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT]; [A DIFFERENT LIGHT / Gay and Lesbian Literature]; [THE / HOLLYWOOD / SPA / COMPOUND / A MAN’S PRIVATE PRESERVE]; [CHIRON RISING], [USC / People with cognitive impair- / ment due to HIV infection are / needed for the Phase II study of / Peptide-T…]; [970-WOLF]; [Valentine Gift Ideas / The Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center / 2 Smash Broadway Hits !!!]; [STOP NOW] by the Open Quest Institute; [INCOME TAX / BIGGER REFUNDS / RUCKER’S / TAX SERVICE]; [Unity / Fellowship / Church / A Church for All People]; [THE BODY BLACK CALENDAR 1991]; [the / BFP TEE]; [Seventh Annual / GSGRA / Los Angeles Chapter / Presents / Rodeo 1991] presented by the Golden State Gay Rodeo Association; [I’ve always said, / “If I ever got / AIDS, I don’t / know what / I’d do.” / I was right.] ad stating the mission of AIDS Project Los Angeles; [THING / SHE KNOWS /WHO SHE IS] a Chicago-based underground zine; ; [The Pleasure Chest Ltd.]; [REACTIONS]; [HOT / TALKING / PERSONALS! / Connections USA]; [Get It On With Hot Men / 1-900-463-4MEN]; [HOT / TALK / ACTION]; and [GET A LITTLE… FUN!].
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Baptist  Search this
Black Press  Search this
Christianity  Search this
Communities  Search this
Education  Search this
Families  Search this
Gospel (Music)  Search this
Government  Search this
Health  Search this
Identity  Search this
International affairs  Search this
LGBTQ  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Men  Search this
Persian Gulf War, 1991  Search this
Politics  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Religion  Search this
Sexuality  Search this
Singers (Musicians)  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Women  Search this
Women's organizations  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Alan Bell
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© BLK Publishing Company, Inc
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
African American - Latinx Solidarity
HIV/AIDS Activist Movement
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture