Mandy Carter is one of the nation's leading African
American lesbian activists. An extraordinary political activist, Carter has organized the grassroots in almost every major
region of this country over the last 30-plus years.
Mandy grew up in upstate NY Born November 2, 1948,
in Albany, NY where she was raised in orphanages and foster care. She arrived in NC via San Francisco. Mandy's early
political activism includes her work with the War Resistors League. Mandy was an early director of NCPRIDEPAC, and helped
found SONG--Southerners On New Ground -- at the Durham Creating Change Conference in 1993. A noted speaker, Mandy has traveled
extensively, educating audiences about LGBT rights in a broader social justice movement. A winner of the prestigious Stonewall
Award, Mandy Carter has enough energy for an army of organizers, and she never fails to maintain her sense of humor. Mandy
is an articulate and non-confrontational doer, who get things accomplished by her motivational mentoring and by exemplary
and tireless activity. She has forged strong and indelible ties between the natural allies that exist in the African-American,
religious, and LGBT communities. Mandy is unforgettable as a symbol of what organizational skill can mean to the development
of a movement and the centering of a culture. [Read More]
Some women come into "the
life" through many doors.She may walk through the doors of a gay and lesbian
center, or a gay and lesbian organization while in college.She may walk through
the door of a lesbian club after circling the site for days or months before entering.She may walk into the life of another woman and fall in love.Later, when
the heat of the relationship grows cold, realize she is who she is and will seek out other women like herself.She may walk through the door of a good friend and find herself in her good friend?s bed, discovering
her bisexuality and later, realize she is a lesbian.She may walk through the
doors of a swinger?s club where both men and women cohort together and soon discover she really does prefer women to
men.She may even walk through the door of an instructor?s office, like
I did, and find herself being introduced to women who do not identify as lesbians, but as women who prefer the company of
other women. [Read More]
Gay Marriage and African Americans, Part 2
Wednesday, Massachusetts legislators debated whether to
amend their state's constitution to ban same-sex marriages. NPR's Tavis Smiley talked to Jasmyne Cannick with the Gay &
Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and Keith Boykin, a long-time gay rights activist and president of the National Black
» Listen to Gay Marriage and African Americans, Part 2
» Gay Marriage and African Americans, Part 1
If the listening links above fail to work, go to site
Keeping History The Black Gay and Lesbian Archive by
Sidney Brinkley (Blacklight Online)
Steven G. Fullwood is a collector of Black Gay history. He is the curator of the Black Gay and Lesbian Archive, developed
for the sole purpose of documenting Black Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Same Gender Loving cultures. BGLA officially
began in 2000 and presently holds hundreds of items. ?I have books, magazines, journals, flyers, music, film/videos,
and other related files that so far measures twelve linear feet,? he said. ?Actually the archive started before
I started it, meaning that much of what I owned as a collector inaugurated the archive.? [Read More]
Love and Blessings: A Moment with Me'Shell Ndege'ocello
By Ronda Racha Penrice (Swirl Magazine)
Me'Shell Ndege'ocello can not be categorized and the gatekeepers of
the industry hate that. How many times have we read that Me'shell doesn't sell records because she is gay. This is despite
the fact that she refuses to classify herself. "I don't really care," she says. "Whatever. I just like to go play, have a
good time." And that's what pisses them off.
She's bold. Unlike other new artists, she came into the game irreverent.
"If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)," her first single from Plantation Lullabies, shocked many with its audacity.
In 1993, affairs were discreet, especially on the part of women. Listening to today's records, female singers are still not
in confrontation mode. Amazingly, over the years, Me'Shell hasn't lost that fire. She still does not buck down to anyone.
On The Web
Kimberly "Q", is Artistic Director
and Co-Founder of ToDaz Woman Productions. She is an actress, singer, writer, has performed
in numerous award winning productions such as, The Children?of the Night, winner of 3 NAACP awards, and a GLAAD
award; Shakin The Mess Outta Misery, winner of an OOBR; and is a six-time AUDELCO award winner, ?Best Supporting
Actress? in 1998 for Gertrude Jeannette?s Gladys? Dilemma and ?Best Leading Actress?
in 2002 for her one-woman piece entitled J?ai Deux Amours? A Journey With Josephine Baker and four AUDELCO's
including Best Dramatic Production in American Menu.
"Q", as she is so affectionately called, has been hailed
by the Los Angeles Times as a " high-steppin actress with drop dead looks" and by the New York Times as "a convincingly, satisfying
actress". "Acting is life; life that changes and grows and if you don't live it?you're not in it!" Know your past,
because it is the key to
Her most recent production, J'ai
Deux Amours...A Journey With Josephine Baker was written and Performed by Kimberly "Q". J'ai Deux Amours...A Journey With Josephine Baker, takes you through the life and career
of Madame Josephine Baker. From her start as a street performer to her taking Paris by storm; her stance on civil rights,
to her undercover days as a spy for the French Resistance; her motivation to adopt 12 children to her eviction from her precious
Les Milandes and right back to her triumphant return to stardom! A spectacular and inspirational story that will leave you
saying "For what I may have known of Josephine, I've learned even more."
Discover ToDaz Woman and other productions on their website at: http://todazwoman.org/index.html
BUTCH MYSTIQUE gets personal and
political with the stories of butch, black lesbians revealed in bold, lucid interviews.
Butch Mystique Debra Wilson, 34 min, dv, color Preview
Playing On Showtime's Black Filmmaker Showcase:
Butch Mystique February 4, 2004
Butch Mystique a film by Debra Wilson (USA)
BUTCH MYSTIQUE is a documentary
by Debra Wilson that exposes the rules, thoughts, passions, and concerns of African American butch-stud, identified lesbians.
Women from varying backgrounds-as mothers, activists, and artists - share raw, powerful and intimate thoughts on being outside
the norm, being powerful butch identified women and being themselves.
Showtime Black Filmmaker Showcase: February 4, 2004 @ 8:00 p.m. Butch Mystique (Color/34:52)
Other Sheduled Showings: February 14, 2004: 12:15 p.m. Showtime Too February
15, 2004: 12:00 p.m. Showtime For more info, visit Showtime
Ms. Wilson is an award-winning filmmaker whose most recent work, Butch Mystique, opened to critical acclaim
at the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.
Butch Mystique Debra
Wilson, 34 min, dv, color Preview
ZAMI is moving into a new office and meeting space. We will suspend support groups and all
activities until the first Sunday of Nov. We will use Oct to move in and will have an open house sometimes in Nov. The exact
date will be announced later. We have been needing an office space for a long while and are really excited about this move.
It will enable us to have regular office hours and a regular meeting space. We are in need of a computer (laptop or desktop)
printer, fax. So, if anyone knows of anything, please let us know.
We want to thank everyone for supporting Zuna Institute and attending
our 2nd National Black Lesbian Conference. We have a busy schedule for 2003-2004. We will co-host the 2nd Black Lesbian Elder
Speak Conference in New York City June 2004. We will present feedback from the first Elder Speak Project findings
to the National Conference on Aging, and we are planning a Black Lesbian Roundtable at the National Lesbian Health Conference
in Chicago in May 2004.
One of the most important things we will be accomplishing this year
is our Strategic Plan. We are taking the feedback from our conferences, surveys, and evaluations to develop our goals and
objectives for the next few years. We are currently recruiting an advisory committee to be part of the Strategic Planning
Team. If you are interested please contact .
The Black Lesbian Elder Speak Project preliminary findings
51% of women over 55 have arthritis 12% Asthma 7% Breast
Cancer 26% Depression 25% Diabetes 23% Fibroids 46% High Blood Pressure 8.5% have no health insurance
Abstract from the Health survey conducted at the National
Black Lesbian Conference 2003, Los Angeles:
Making Us Visible: Health Issues of African-American Lesbians
Brenda Crawford, Doretha Williams-Flournoy, Francine Ramsey, Mary
Anne Adams & Suzanne L. Dibble
Purpose: To compare the health issues of older and
younger African American lesbians.
Design: Onsite survey conducted at the Zuna Institute's
2003 national conference.
Sample: The typical participant (n=129) was 51.5
years old (SD=12.76, range 22 to 79) lesbian-identified (95.3%), in a committed relationship (54.3%), employed (70.6%), living
in an urban area (60.6%) and educated through college (M=16.52 yrs; SD=2.8). 8.5% of respondents (n=11) did not have any health
insurance and were not on Medicaid/Medicare.
Methods: Participants completed a health survey that
took about 45 minutes to finish. The questions for this survey were pilot tested by a panel of experts. Human Subjects Approval
was granted from UCSF.
Findings: Most respondents (n=70, 55%) were under
the age of 55 while 45% (n=57) were 55 or older. There were no
significant differences in educational level between the two groups. Significantly more younger women lived in urban areas,
were students, were employed, were in committed relationships, and had more income than the older women. More older women
reported having been pregnant (74%) and having hysterectomies (44%) in contrast with the younger women (46%, 26%). These differences
are statistically significant (p=.002, p=.036). Significantly more older women reported problems with arthritis (51%
vs 17%, p<.001), diabetes (25% vs 8%; p=.013), their heart (21% vs 8%; p=.039) and hypertension (46% vs 16%; p=.001) than did the younger women. Significantly more younger women (66%)
were out to their health care provider compared with the older group (41%, p=.007). Most (65%) of the older group reported
having smoked cigarettes (previous or current) while only 40% of the younger group reported a history of smoking (p=.007).
Conclusions: Significant differences exist in the
health issues of older and younger African American lesbians. In addition the rates of various health issues suggest that
health disparities probably exist in African American lesbians and that health care workers must be conscious of them.
Check out Zuna's website at http://www.zunainstitute.org for information on Zuna Institute.