US: Celebrating Black Queer Women in History

The aftermath of the killing of Trayvon Martin birthed a new iteration of Black liberation movement--one explicitly and unapologetically Black and queer in nature.

Electrified by the consistent murders of Black people at the hands of law enforcement, state agents and vigilantes, young Black people became differently politicized and began a digital and on-the-ground crusade to affirm the indelible value, sanctity and humanity of all Black lives.

Importantly, many of the young Black people agitated into action that summer and beyond have proudly named and proclaimed their queerness, trans-ness and womanhood as essential components to the movement toward Black liberation. The choice to refuse to silence, apologize or equivocate for the complex and multifaceted wholeness of Blackness destabilizes both white (supremacist) LGBT-centered queer history and theory and the popular, albeit false, patriarchal narrative of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.

To call the women who instigated what is now known as the Movement for Black Lives wholly different from our Black feminist foremothers would be a gross mischaracterization of history. In fact, it is within the history of Black lesbian, bisexual and transgender feminisms that we draw our courage and ability to articulate a truly visionary freedom for all Black people.

As long as there have been Black people, there have been Black queer and trans people. In America, our contributions to Black queer and trans history span centuries and touch every facet of American life. Read more via NBC