Monday, February 4, 2013

Black History Month 2013 Kick-Off

History of Black History Month:

     This is an erotic art blog. So, I'm sure you didn't come to this page looking for history lessons; unless it had something to do with sex or art maybe. Well, this Black History Month I'd like to focus on the contributions of those who have influenced just that - sex and/or art.

Black History Month was very repetitive for me growing up. Every February, we learned about the same people: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, etc. While I mean no disrespect to any of these figures who played extremely important roles in what  made it possible for me to even be writing this right now, there are a lot of great people who get left out or over looked while we receive repetitious reminders of the amazing contributions from the same people. 

Before I get to those who have more direct (or current) influences on things more geek, gay, or porn, here are a couple of African Americans who need to be recognized more often.

Bayard Rustin

It was only a few years ago that I learned about Bayard Rustin. Bayard was an openly gay civil rights activist that fought alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and is responsible for organizing the March on Washington in 1963. Because he was openly gay, his contributions were widely discredited or left out until the documentary, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, was released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2003.

Next up, Josephine Baker.

I didn't grow up with Josephine Baker being played on the radio or even at home, but I was astonished when I learned more about her. Josephine paved the way for black superstars like Whitney Houston, Beyoncé, and even Ru Paul! 

These two historic figures didn't just fight for black civil rights, they proudly stood for gay rights as well during an era that didn't have HRCs. It is figures like Bayard Rustin and Josephine Baker that motivated me to do something more for Black History Month this year than my usual slash art. 
If any of the figures that I spotlight this month are new to you or you learn something you didn't know, then my mission was a success. 

Happy Black History Month.
Make it a great week, Folks.

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