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AfricanAmerican inside bannerNow that we are halfway through February, we thought it would be a great idea to celebrate African American History month. We have decided to give you two weeks of African American History and since this is Hotspots, we will focus on the LGBT community. Read all about it and stay tuned, we will bring you more next week.

Pop quiz: name one famous gay black person besides Rupaul. If you can’t respond, I’m here to help…

AfricanAmerican inside banner

Now that we are halfway through February, we thought it would be a great idea to celebrate African American History month. We have decided to give you two weeks of African American History and since this is Hotspots, we will focus on the LGBT community. Read all about it and stay tuned, we will bring you more next week.

Pop quiz: name one famous gay black person besides Rupaul. If you can’t respond, I’m here to help, and it’s stories like these that really get me excited about my job. I think it’s left over from all the years I spent as a teacher, but I love writing about history, about the gay community, and, maybe since I identify so closely with those who are outside mainstream culture, I love writing about minorities. I pretty much hit the trifecta! For those of you who aren’t snoring already, read on and find out about some famous African Americans who just so happen to be part of the LGBT community or who are fighting beside us for equal rights.

AfricanAmerican pic1Let’s start with the most relevant and least gay of the bunch: The Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens’ Brendon Ayanbadejo. Despite the fact that he isn’t gay, Ayanbadejo has become a staunch ally of the LGBT community at large. Last year, he caused a media firestorm for using his celebrity to speak out on behalf of marriage equality in the Raven’s (and my) home state of Maryland. He received push back from a state politician who called for his silencing and ouster, saying that Ayanbadejo was causing a distraction and that Raven’s fans are “appalled and aghast that a member of the Raven’s Football Team would step into this controversial divide.” Ayanbadejo and other  NFL players responded and didn’t back down. In fact, the Raven doubled down, and when his team made it all the way to the Super Bowl, he vowed to use his voice to continue the push for equality. He posed for a NoH8 Campaign photo, and followed through on his promise, granting CNN’s Don Lemon an extensive interview outlining his beliefs about the gays. Some kind of distraction huh?

AfricanAmerican pic0Keith Boykin was an editor of The Daily Voice and a White House aide to President Bill Clinton. After Clinton’s election, Boykin became a director of specialty media. He became the highest-ranking openly gay person in the Clinton White House and helped organize the nation’s first meeting between gay and lesbian leaders and a U.S. President. Since his time in the White House Boykin has written a number of books on gay issues.

 

AfricanAmerican BruceNugentBruce Nugent

Bruce Nugent was a writer and painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His short story, Smoke, Lilies, and Jade, has been regarded by many as the first publican by an African American which discussed homosexuality openly.

 

AfricanAmerican pic2Alvin Ailey

Choreographer Alvin Ailey revolutionized modern dance and formed the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York in 1958. Ailey was known for his multi-racial company at a time when many talented black dancers were excluded from performances. In 1992, three years after his death, Ailey was inducted into the C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame at the National Museum of Dance.

 

AFricanAmerican Kye AllumsKye Allums is the first openly transgender athlete to play NCAA Division I college basketball. He was a shooting guard on the George Washington University women’s basketball team until this year when he decided to no longer play. Allums is now busy speaking about his life around the country.

AfricanAmerican Alice Walker

 

Alice Walker

Writer Alice Walker earned a Pulitzer Prize for her novel ‘The Color Purple’ which was later adapted into film. As a civil rights activist she walked in the 1963 March on Washington and volunteered to register black voters in Georgia and Mississippi.

Remember to check back in next week when we will bring you another group of LGBT African Americans.

Information on LGBT African American from www.huffingtonpost.com

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