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Catalog Data

Published by:
Alan Bell, American  Search this
Edited by:
Alan Bell, American  Search this
Subject of:
Winnie Mandela, South African, 1936 - 2018  Search this
African National Congress, South African, founded 1912  Search this
Nelson Mandela, South African, 1918 - 2013  Search this
Gay and Lesbian Organization of Witwatersrand, South African, 1988 - 1997  Search this
Desmond Tutu, South African, born 1931  Search this
AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power, American, founded 1987  Search this
Essence Magazine, American, founded 1970  Search this
Whitney Houston, American, 1963 - 2012  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:
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Africa
Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States, North and Central America
Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, North and Central America
San Diego, San Diego County, California, United States, North and Central America
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Seattle, King County, Washington, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, San Francisco county, California, United States, North and Central America
Bridgetown, Saint Michael, Barbados, Caribbean, North and Central America
Durban, KwaZulu/Natal, South Africa, Africa
May 1991
This is the 30th issue of BLK Magazine published May 1991. The front cover, printed with a blue tint, features a black and white image of Winnie Mandela. The photograph is a close up of her face, from the shoulders up. She is wearing a light-colored, collared shirt with two clasped buttons and several dainty necklaces. Mandela is also wearing a pair of flat hoops, with the left side earring visible. There are unidentifiable people in the background. At the top and centered off to the left, [BLK] is printed in bold, white, uppercase letters within a red 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 / WORD UP / READ MY LIPS / CLASSIFIEDS]. Located below the magazine title in small, black text it reads [Vol. 3, No. 5 / Whole No. 30 / May 1991]. The headline [Has / Winnie / Lost / It?] is printed in large, white text centered and to the left. There are 36 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 four short articles: [Backing Off, Coming Out] about Essence’s Senior Health Editor Linda Villarosa ‘coming out,’ [Whitney Watch] about Whitney Houston, [Japanese Firm Plays with AIDS] about Yonezawa’s game called Bacteria Panic, and [International Black Male] about the summer 1991 International Male catalog only having 1% of images of black models.
This is followed the [BLK] mast head on page 4.
The cover story, which begins on page 7, is titled [Has Winnie Lost It? / The activities of Nelson Mandela’s wife complicate / lesbian and gay support], with a label headline [NEWS ANALYSIS]. Written by Mark Haile, the article addresses the trial of Winnie Mandela and her bodyguards, known as the Mandela United Football Club. Mandela and a few of the bodyguards were accused of kidnapping and assaulting Kenneth Kgase, Thabiso Barend Mono, Gabriel Mekgwe, and James “Stompie” Moeketsi Seipei on December 29, 1988. The trial developed with George Bizos as the defense lawyer for Mandela, who previously also defended Simon Nkoli. She was sentenced to six years in jail. There is one selected quote printed in larger font: [“Signs said ‘No Justice Under an Unjust Government’ but also “No Homosex’ and ‘Homosex Is Not in Black Culture’”]. A related article can be found in NMAAHC 2018.108.19.
Several shorter articles appear under the section [BLK NEWS]. Beginning on page 15, these articles include: [Agency Ignores Boycott; Plans South African Tour / by Mark Haile] about the Royal Tours and Travel defying the economic boycott on South Africa called by the African National Congress and the International Gay and Lesbian Association until the end of apartheid, [Wilbert Jordan to Head New L.A. AIDS Institute] Dr. Wilbert Jordan will help develop a comprehensive integrated system for awareness, education, early intervention and treatment plus other initiatives within the AIDS Institute, [Tabloid Outs TV Sitcom Star Reggie VelJohnson / by Alan Smithe], [Bookstore in Chicago Rejects Black Gay Magazine / by Mark Haile] ‘Thing’ a Chicago-based zine publication is rejected by new bookstore owner of Osiris Bookstore, one of two Afrocentric bookstores in Chicago previously owned by Desirée Sanders, [Carter Courts Gay Vote] about Paula Carter running for the presidency of the Board of Aldermen in St. Louis, [Black Lesbian Joins San Diego City Commission] about Dr. Cynthia Lawrence-Wallace appointed to the San Diego County Human Relations Commission, [State Quits Case Against Lonnie Hill, Gay Sex Film / by Rex Wockner] regarding the film made by Lonnie Hill, Bijou Theatre manager and director of ‘More of a Man,” [ACT-UP/Chicago Splits in Debate Over AIDS Priority; HIV Positives Form Own Group, ACT-UP/WINDY City / by Rec Wockner] about two organizations splitting from ACT-UP Chicago chapter to focus on the needs of persons with AIDS, Daniel Sotomayor’s Cure AIDS NOW and ACT-UP/WINDY CITY, [Black Gay Republican in Race for Boston Council] the article covers Abner Mason running for Boston City Council and mentions Sherry Harris in Seattle running as well, [Hurdie Stiles Named to Seattle Gay Commission / by Tripp Hunter] about Stiles joining the Seattle Commission for Lesbians and Gays, [Greg Adams Named Mr. Pendulum Leather 1991] AIDS activist and actor will represent Castro bar the Pendulum at the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago, [Barbados Top Cop Says Gays, Drugs Cause Crime], [Students in South Africa Challenge Heterosexism / by Rex Wockner] about the National Union of South African Students, the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Activists, and Gay and Lesbian Activists of Durban, and [CDC March Statistics on AIDS Causes in U.S.].
This is followed by [BLK VEIL] on page 27 and lists nine obituaries: Stephen Michael Fields, Darryl Edward Heard, Robert Lucas, Fredric Fisher McClain Jr., Phillip B. McIntyre, Samuel “Ray” Mitchell, Emile Pace, Lee Townsend, and Alan Wiggins. The gossip column titled [Read My Lips] written by Preston G. Guider is on page 28. The issue concludes with the classifieds section [BLK MARKET] starting on page 30, 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, including: [SOMEONE / YOU CAN / TRUST / Culver City / Mazda]; [PUT PRIDE IN YOUR LIVE / Recovery / Has Many Faces. / Pride / Institute]; [You Are Not Alone! / 18th Street Services]; [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; [Immediate openings. / Fringe benefits. / L.A. Shanti Foundation]; [CHRISTOPHER STREET WEST / LOS ANGELES 1991 / TOGETHER IN / PRIDE] about the Gay and Lesbian Pride Celebration; [WELCOME ABOARD SAN DIEGO! / BLACK MEN’S XCHANGE]; [If you / or someone you know / has AIDS, / self-screening for / CMV retinitis / can help save / precious sight.]; [Subscribe to the leading interracial gay magazine / QUARTERLY INTERCHANGE]; [GAYELLOW PAGES]; [THE / HOLLYWOOD / SPA / COMPOUND / A MAN’S PRIVATE PRESERVE]; [TWISTED / VIDEO]; [TALKING PERSONALS / Connections USA]; [Serving the Needs / of the People / VISITING NURSE HOMES SERVICES]; [303-WOLF]; [THING / SHE KNOWS / WHO SHE IS]; [The Pleasure Chest Ltd.]; [Unity / Fellowship / Church / A Church for All People]; [REACTIONS]; [ALWAYS / THERE / WHEN / YOU / NEED / US! / The Open Quest Institute]; [Visiting the Bay Area?? / GAYBOOK]; [Caribbean / HEAT Magazine]; [THE CENTER / LEGAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT]; [Ms. Vogue: BARBER/STYLIST]; [Black and White / Men Together]; [ACT-UP/LA needs / your input • your leadership • your anger!]; [FOR BLACK GAY & / BISEXUAL MEN / ONLY!] from the African American Men’s Health Project; [THE BLACK / GAY MEN’S RAP / Together We Can Work It Out!]; and [GET A LITTLE… FUN!].
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Black Press  Search this
Communities  Search this
Hate crimes  Search this
Health  Search this
Identity  Search this
International affairs  Search this
LGBTQ  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Politics  Search this
Sexuality  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Violence  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
HIV/AIDS Activist Movement
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture