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date: 19 September 2020

The 1980s Black Gay Cultural Renaissancelocked

  • Darius Bost


The black gay cultural renaissance emerged in relation to shifts in mainstream U.S. culture and politics, including the rise of the New Right, the Christian Right, and the backlash against civil rights gains made in the 1960s and 1970s. It also developed in relation to dominant cultural, political, and intellectual forces in black America, including Black Power, the Black Arts Movement, the Nation of Islam, Afrocentrism, and black liberationist thought, all of which held complex ideologies about lesbians and gays. Black gay men used a range of cultural forms—media, literature, film, dance, music, and performance—as a mode of community building, political mobilization, and self-determination in the face of state neglect and cultural exclusion. While scholars have deemed the publication of Joseph Beam’s edited Brother to Brother: Black Gay Writing (1986 as the beginning of this cultural movement the renaissance emerged in the late 1970s with the publication ...

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