Sunday, February 01, 2009

Black LGBT History Is Your History, Too

Happy Black History Month!

While I could gripe endlessly about the fact that Black History Month takes place during the shortest month of the year, I'll chill about that for now and focus on the big picture.

The Negro History Week that Dr. Carter G. Woodson envisioned back in 1926 has not only grown to cover a month, but is now celebrated by our Canadian cousins as well. We are also starting to expand its focus to to encompassing the history of African descended people across the Diaspora.

Since history is basically the story of a people, Black history is MY history as a African descended transwoman. I didn't give up my 'Black Like Me' Card when I transitioned, and nor does being part of the GLBT community negate any concerns I have as an African descended transperson for the welfare of my peeps no matter what continent, country or Caribbean island they reside in.

Conversely, as a proud African descended member of the GLBT community, my GLBT history also belongs to you as well, despite what some hate peddling megachurch preacher tells you.

One of the things that's becoming more apparent every day is that African American transgender people existed before the early 21st century. We were living our lives during the Harlem Renaissance, in Chicago, New Orleans and in various cities like Pittsburgh as Charles 'Teenie' Harris' Pittsburgh Courier photographs and JET, EBONY and HUE magazine articles bear witness to.

That history also involves standing up for our rights as transgender people thanks to the people involved in the 1965 Dewey's Lunch Counter Sit-In Protest in Philadelphia.

There are also many African descended transpeople making Black history now here and across the Diaspora, and it's past time our Black family acknowledges, respects and embraces that fact.


Cassandra said...

I'm going to read this post for Louisville Seminary's Black History Month Read-in tomorrow (2/12/09). Hey, free publicity, can't beat that. :)

Monica Roberts said...

Appreciate it. Say hello to the gang at LPTS for me ;)