And what better day to publish this post than on the first day of Black History Month 2013?
I remember when I first heard about the formation of the National Black Justice Coalition after it had occurred. I was happy that we African-American LGBT peeps finally had an organization of our own to deal with issues from our Afrocentric perspective even though it was more focused at the time on tackling the negative marriage equality paradigm in the Black community and flipping that script.
I noted that Keith Boykin was involved and was happy to see Kylar Broadus as the initial board chair along with one of my activist mentors in Mandy Carter. I had the pleasure of meeting the organization's founding ED H Alexander Robinson at an event in Louisville, and now have the pleasure of interacting with from time to time current NBJC ED and CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks.
I've gotten to know other NBJC founders and board members past and present as the organization continued to grow during the 2k's to become a powerful, increasingly respected and listened to inside I-495 player in the human rights arena.
It has been a joy for me to watch over this second decade of the 21st century NBJC continue to coalesce, grow and evolve to become the go to organization on Black LGBT issues and help us as Sharon likes to say 'Own Our Power'
The thing that has made me most proud of the National Black Justice Coalition is they didn't consider the 'T' in LGBT as an afterthought like other professional GLBT lobbying orgs have sadly done.
It is a respect level we rarely get (and still don't) get from our own peers much less white run gay and lesbian organizations
NBJC has made certain we trans people not only have input, but are highlighted in and have substantiative roles in their various initiatives and programming from OUT on the Hill to their recent appearance at Creating Change 2013 to the just launched Many Faces, One Voice economic empowerment tour.
Transpeople are considered a valued part of the Black LGBT family and NBJC's constituent base. What's not to love about that?
As a matter of fact it's time for us who are fiscally able to do so to drop them some t-bills as a thank you. The work they do isn't cheap, and every contribution they get is efficiently used to fund their continuing work on our community's behalf.
Happy tenth anniversary NBJC as you continue your unapologetically Black, bold, and innovative leadership of our SGL and trans community