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Ruth Waters

As the product of an interracial liaison between a "feisty" white woman and a biracial man at the beginning of the Depression, Ruth J. Waters was reared by a strong black woman activist and educated in the segregated educational system of Oklahoma. Even as a child Ruth never considered that one could choose not to fight injustice whenever and wherever encountered.

Ruth Ellis

"My life has been nothing special. I am a quiet person who came from a very ordinary, middle-class Negro family. I was born July 23, 1899 in Springfield, Illinois...After high school in Springfield, a neighborhood man taught me how to set type and run his presses...I had one real girlfriend. Her name was Ceciline. We called her Babe.

Ingrid Rivera-Dessuit

Ingrid Rivera-Dessuit says, "Asking me why I am a lesbian is like asking me why I have brown eyes. Because that's my reality. Because that's who I am." Ms. Rivera-Dessuit was featured in the March issues of EBONY where she talked about coming out of the closet, embracing her sexuality and educating others about homosexuality.


Linda Villarosa

Confused and not sure about her sexual orientation, she did not explore her feelings because she was trying to fit into a white neighborhood and didn't want to do anything others could think of as wrong.

Finally, in college, "I came out because I couldn't stand not being myself any more."

Barbara Smith

"The near nonexistence of Black lesbian literature which other Black lesbians and I so deeply feel has everything to do with the politics of our lives, the total suppression of identity that all Black women, lesbians or not, must face. This literary silence is again intensified by the unavailability of an autonomous Black feminist movement through which we could fight our oppression and also begin to name ourselves." --Smith, 1998

Cheryl Clarke

Cheryl Clarke was born in Washington, D.C. She is the author of four books of poetry, Narratives: poems in the tradition of black women (1983), Living as a Lesbian (1986), Humid Pitch (1989), and Experimental Love (1993). She attended Howard and Rutgers Universities. As a member of the lesbian and gay communities since 1973, Clarke's writing integrates queer perspectives with her feminist and African-American perspectives.



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Interview with Writer and Activist Barbara Smith

Legendary radical Black lesbian feminist Barbara Smith talks "The Truth That Never Hurts", as she discusses her book of the same title. Making connections between women/queer liberation and the African American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s, Smith traces her development as an activist, and celebrates the idealism, solidarity and passions of younger activists who keep the struggle going. -- Gail Cooper

Show Number: 183
Producers: Harriet Hirshorn and Lucretia Knapp.  Click here to view RealVideo interview


Dyke TV Arts

Cheryl Clarke

Poetess Cheryl Clarke describes how a well-defined community of lesbians gave her the best entrée into the world of lesbian poetry. Along the way, she pays homage to her predecessors and contemporaries, including Phyllis Wheatley, Gwendolyn Brooks and Audre Lorde, and reads from her collection, Experimental Love, published in 1993. -- Gail Cooper

Air Date:
Show Number: 252
Producer: Anat Salomon
Real Video Presentation
Click to view ©2001

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