There are two Black lesbians who I was privileged to learn from who made a great difference in my life: Audre Lorde and Pat Parker. Not only were they out as lesbians in their writing in the early 1970s, but they were incredibly political women who did not have the illusion that it was enough for them just to pursue their individual artistic careers and let the rest of the world go hang. — Barbara Smith, “Doing it from Scratch: The Challenge of Black Lesbian Organizing,” from The Truth that Never Hurts , 176 (via daughterofzami)
This hatred and our anger our very different. Hatred is the fury of those who do not share our goals, and its object is death and destruction. Anger is grief of distortions between peers, and its object is change. But our time is getting shorter. We have been raised to view any difference other than sex as a reason for destruction, and for Black women and white women to face each other’s anger without denial or immobility or silence or guilt is in itself a heretical and generative idea. It implies peers meeting upon a common basis to examine difference, and to alter those distortions which history has created around our difference. For it is those distortions which separate us. And we must ask ourselves. Who profits from all this? — Audre Lorde. “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” Sister Outsider. Crossing Press Berkley. 1984. Originally published as the keynote presentation at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Storrs, Connecticut, June 1981 (via fuckyeahaudrelordequotes)
Black Queer Living History
Michelle Parkerson, Veteran Filmmaker
Michelle Parkerson is an award-winning independent filmmaker who been at the business of making movies for over 30 years. Her work has been shown widely in festivals and on public television including award-winning documentaries, A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde (1995); Stormé: The Lady of the Jewel Box (her exploration of the life and career of an early drag king) (1987); But Then, She’s Betty Carter (a portrait of legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter) (1980); Gotta Make this Journey: Sweet Honey in the Rock (a profile the a capella activist group, Sweet Honey in the Rock) and Sojourn (1973). More
…and recently seen performing choreopoems with Wayson Jones at Outwrite DC’s “Tribute to Essex Hemphill.” Doing the damn thing!
Mary P. (“Mamie”) Burrill, circa 1944, just before she retired from teaching at Dunbar High School in Washington, DC. Burrill was a playwright, director, actor and teacher; born in Washington, DC, graduated from Emerson College in Boston (1904); taught English, speech and dramatics at Dunbar; directed many dramas in the Washington, DC area; wrote They That Sit in Darkness and Aftermath (1919), among other plays; was director of DC’s Conservatory of Music School of Expression (1907-1911); was part of the Georgia Douglas Johnson’s “S Street Salon” of black writers during the Harlem Renaissance; and lived with Howard University’s first Dean of Women, Lucy Diggs Slowe, for 15 years on Kearney Street NE.
Lucy Diggs Slowe, dean of Howard University, tennis champion and gay lady not afraid of pearl necklaces.
Expansion: First dean of women at Howard University (starting in 1922, and presided until her death in 1937); created the first junior high school in Washington, DC in 1919; first black woman to win a major sports title (the American Tennis Association’s first tournament in 1917), and won 16 other tennis titles beyond that; earned her master’s degree from Columbia University in 1915; founding member of Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority in 1908… and, while serving as Howard University’s Dean of Women, lived with playwright Mary P. Burrill (“Mamie” Burrill) for 15 years on Kearney St. NE in Washington, DC. Bam!
Black, Feminist, Revolutionary Remembering the Combahee River Collective - News & Views - EBONY