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Catalog Data

Published by:
Alan Bell, American  Search this
Edited by:
Alan Bell, American  Search this
Subject of:
Pomo Afro Homos, 1990 - 1995  Search this
National Black Theatre, American, founded 1968  Search this
Marlon Riggs, American, 1957 - 1994  Search this
Black Men's Xchange, American, founded 1989  Search this
Joseph F. Beam, American, 1954 - 1988  Search this
Bayard Rustin, American, 1912 - 1987  Search this
Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Forum, American, 1988 - 2003  Search this
Blackberri, American, 1945 - 2021  Search this
Barbara Smith, American, born 1946  Search this
Pat Norman, American, born 1939  Search this
W.E.B. Du Bois, American, 1868 - 1963  Search this
The Crisis, American, founded 1910  Search this
A. Philip Randolph, American, 1889 - 1979  Search this
Ebony, American, founded 1945  Search this
Michael Smith, American, died 1989  Search this
Gay and Lesbian Organization of Witwatersrand, South African, 1988 - 1997  Search this
Grupo Gay da Bahía, Brazilian, founded 1980  Search this
National Association of Black and White Men Together, American, founded 1980  Search this
Cleo Manago, American, born 1963  Search this
Congressional Black Caucus, American, founded 1971  Search this
Rep. Maxine Waters, American, born 1938  Search this
National Task Force on AIDS Prevention, American, 1985 - 1998  Search this
Reggie Williams, American, 1951 - 1999  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:
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, United States, North and Central America
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Compton, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
Denver, Denver County, Colorado, United States, North and Central America
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, United States, North and Central America
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
August 1991
This is the 33rd issue of BLK magazine published August 1991. The front cover is printed in color and features an image of the three members of the of the San Francisco troupe, Pomo-Afros-Homos: Brian Freeman, Eric Gupton, and Djola Bernard Branner. They are each wearing different colored, black polka dotted, baggy, shiny shirt with long-sleeved and a collar, along with a flat hat similar to the material of their dress. At the top and centered, [BLK] is printed in bold, white, uppercase letters within a sky-blue 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. Below and to the left of the the [BLK] text box is the magazine issue information; in small, white text it reads [Vol. 3, No. 8 / Whole No. 33 / August 1991]. To the right of the [BLK] text box is the magazine headline [Young, / Gifted, / and / Fierce]. This issue is the first to have a new internal layout. There are 48 numbered pages, stapled at the center fold, with articles, advertisements, classifieds, both colored and black and white photographs, and cartoon illustrations throughout.
The inside of the cover features an ad for the Minority AIDS project, [Join Ms. Dionne Warwick and Bishop Carl Bean / COMING HOME 4 / For Friends / Annual Gospel Benefit]. The content opens with the section titled [Word Up / News of the Outrageous, the Amusing, the Pathetic and the Unexpected] by Leon Miller with three short articles: [THE SUMMER OF DISCONTENT] about Donna Summer, [AS LONG AS THE CLOSET DOORS ARE CLOSED] regarding Rita Dyson of the Black and Lino Multicultural Book Center, and [NASTY NAME FOR EVERYONE].
This is followed by four letters to the editor in the section [BLK MAIL] on pages 5 and 6, with the [BLK] masthead on page 6. On the following page is the section [BLK PEOPLE] about broad and general news regarding the Black gay and lesbian community. It is divided by city.
The cover story, which begins on page 9, is titled [Young, / Gifted / and Fierce], with a sub-heading [Telling very real / stories makes heroes / of three very real / black gay men]. Written by Alan E. Miller, the article speaks with Brian Freeman, Bernard Branner, and Eric Gupton about their performance group Pomo Afro Homos, and their performance of “Fierce Love: Stories from Black Gay Life.” Each member talks about the importance of this 12-vignette play that speaks to the experience of Black gay men, which is often omitted in the LGBTQ+ community and the African American community. A colored photo of the troupe is printed on page 12.
A second feature story begins on page 15, titled [Pressing Issues], with a sub-heading [A quick history and / survey of current / black lesbian and gay / periodicals]. Written by Mark Haile, the article addresses the history and development of the Black gay press ending with a list of 21 current Black gay and lesbian publications. Citing “Fire!!” as the first magazine which held that title with the printing of a single issue in 1926, Haile traces the emergence of “Blacklight” in Washington D.C., 1979, to “Onyx” the first Black lesbian newsletter from Berkley in 1982 before providing a snippet on each current newsletter.
Several shorter articles appear; beginning on page 21, these articles include: [Blacks Ponder Meaning of Dahmer / by Mark Haile, BLK Associate Editor] about the arrests and charges of Jeffrey L. Dahmer and the negligence by Milwaukee Police Department, [‘Tongues Untied’ Goes National, but 17 Top PBS Stations Refuse to Air It / by Mark Haile, BLK Associate Editor], [Black Men’s Xchange Holds First Retreat], [Pannell Cops Ward 8 Seat] about Phil Pannell, [Black Caucus Gets AIDS Information / by Mark Haile, BLK Associate Editor] organized by Rep. Maxine Waters with Anita Taylor, Belinda Rochelle, Reggie Williams, Brenda V. Smith, Dr. Janet Mitchell, Harlon Dalton, Rashidah Hassan, and Dr. Wilbert Jordan, [BMX in Denver Charges Racism] regarding a dance club, Matchmaker, [Black Men’s, Women’s Retreats Planned] about United Lesbians of African Heritage retreat, Sistahfest, [Mason Quits Council Race] about Abner Mason, the first openly gay African American to run for Boston’s City Council, and [CDC July Statistics on AIDS Cases in U.S.].
This is followed by the new column [BOOKS / by Alan E. Miller] on page 29, where Miller will review books as a response to more Black lesbians and gay men publishing books. Miller cites their upbringing and attendance of conferences as further inspiration for the column, accompanied by book suggestions. On page 31 begins [MUSIC / by D.J. Marius] with three album reviews: [Linsey / “Perfect Love” (Virgin)], [Brand New Heavies / “Brand New Heavies” (Delicious Vinyl)], and [Innocence / “Belief” (Chrysalis)].
The advice column [Rules of the Game / by Emanuel] is on page 32. The gossip column titled [Read My Lips] written by Preston G. Guider is on page 35. The section [BLK LIST], a listing of gay and lesbian organizations, bars, and baths, runs from pages 37 to 39. Entities are assigned one to four stars based on how Black they are, with one star meaning “Somewhat black” and four stars “All black,” with a cross meaning “Mixed gay and straight.”
The issue concludes with the classifieds section [BLK MARKET] starting on page 41, 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: [PUT PRIDE IN YOUR LIVE / Recovery / Has Many Faces. / Pride / Institute]; [LIVING WITH HIV] by the American Social Health Association, National Association of People of AIDS, and Burroughs Welcome Co.; [BLACK GAY AND LESBIAN LEADERSHIP FORUM / PRESENTS UPCOMING EVENTS] with four events listed: [SARAFINA / The Musical / Celebration], [SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BLACK GAY / MEN’S WEEKEND RETREAT], [THE 5TH ANNUAL NATIONAL / BLACK GAY AND LESBIAN / CONFERENCE], and [SATURDAY / DISCUSSION GROUPS]; [You Are Cordially Invited To Attend / Fall Ball / “Catch-One Is Burning” / SPECIAL GUEST: / House of Duvall / A Benefit For Rue’s House]; [Call / Get / Watch / BLK]; [Body / Builders / Gym]; [Unity / Fellowship / Church / A Church for All People]; [THE WORKS]; [FREEDOM / make it happen / THE PROVOKER]; [Black Bottoms / presents / BLK / SUMMER / JAM II]; [YOU ARE INVITED! / WHAT’S THE OCCASION? / BLACK MALE TO MALE (“GAY”) RELATIONSHIPS] by Black Men’s Xchange, [ACT-UP/LA needs / your input • your leadership • your anger!]; [THE CENTER / LEGAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT]; [Gay & Lesbian Literature A DIFFERENT LIGHT]; [Caribbean / HEAT Magazine]; [1-900-990-HEAT]; [Black and White / Men Together]; [the / BFP TEE]; [THE WORLD’S LARGEST AND FINEST EROTIC DEPARTMENT STORE / The Pleasure Chest Ltd.]; [1-900-844-WOLF]; [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; [TALKING PERSONALS / Connections USA]; [Serving the Needs / of the People / VISITING NURSE HOMES SERVICES]; [THE / HOLLYWOOD / SPA / COMPOUND / A MAN’S PRIVATE PRESERVE]; [BROTHER / TO / BROTHER / edited by Essex Hemphill / conceived by Joseph Beam] ordering slip; [Men of Color / Phone Personals]; and [The “MALE MENU” / PHONE PERSONALS] with seven sections.
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Black Press  Search this
Communities  Search this
Hate crimes  Search this
Health  Search this
Identity  Search this
Journalism  Search this
LGBTQ  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Sexuality  Search this
Theatre  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.
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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