Home > Advocacy, Awareness, LGBT News > Black History Month: Celebrating Notable LGBT African Americans and their Struggle for Equality

Black History Month: Celebrating Notable LGBT African Americans and their Struggle for Equality

February 14, 2012
Bayard Rustin, half-length portrait, facing fr...

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Although February has been marked by LGBT marriage victories in California and Washington, lets not forget and more Importantly take time to recognize the LGBT African-Americans who have fought and struggled for Equal Rights and Human rights not just because of their sexuality, but because of their ethnic background.  They have in so many ways paved the way and blazed the trail which we follow today.  Take time out to respect those who put their lives on the line so that we have the right to fight our battles in court, protest on the street, and lobby for change.  Harvey Milk exhorted LGBT’s to follow the path of the African-American Civil Rights leaders of the 50’s and 60’s…

Harvey Milk once said “The blacks did not win their rights by sitting quietly in the back of the bus. They got off! Gay people, we will not win our rights by staying quietly in our closets… We are coming out! We are coming out to fight the lies, the myths, the distortions! We are coming out to tell the truth about gays!”


Alice Walker: author, poet, and advocate

Alvin Ailey: choreographer and advocate

André Leon Talley: editor-at-large for Vogue magazine, current contributing editor

Angela Davis: political advocate, scholar, and author

Audre Lorde: author and advocate

Bayard Rustin: chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, advisor to Martin Luther King Jr.

Bessie Smith: blues singer

Bill T. Jones: artistic director, choreographer and dancer

Countee Cullen: poet

Darryl Stevens: actor

Don Lemon: reporter for CNN and news anchor

Doug Spearman: actor

E. Denise Simmons: mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts, during the 2008-2009 term, first openly lesbian African American mayor in the United States

E. Lyn Harris: author

Emil Wilbekin: former openly gay Editor-in-Chief of Vibe Magazine, current managing editor of Essence.com

Felicia “Snoop” Pearson: actress

Glen Burke: Major League Baseball player

Isis King: America’s Next Top Model contestant

James Baldwin: author

Jasika Nicole: actress

Jean-Michel Basquiat: artist

John Amaechi: former NBA player

Josephine Baker: dancer, singer, and actress

June Jordan: author

Kevin Aviance: female impressionist and entertainer

LZ Granderson: ESPN.com columnist

Langston Hughes: poet and social advocate

Laverne Cox: actress, producer and transgender advocate

Lee Daniels: film producer and director

Linda Villaros: author, journalist and public speaker

Ma Rainey: blues singer

Maurice Jamal: filmmaker and director

Meshell Ndegeocello: singer

Paris Barclay: television director and producer

Patrik-Ian Polk: director, producer, screenwriter, singer and actor

Roy Simmons: former NFL player

RuPaul: actor, drag queen and singer-songwriter

Sheryl Swoopes: WNBA player

Stacy Ann Chin: author and poet

Tracy Chapman: singer

Wanda Sykes: actress and comedian

via Black History Month Resource Kit | GLAAD.