Great Moments in Black LGBT History

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  • Audre Lorde/Angela Davis
  • Frank Ocean
  • Rave Symoné
  • Claude McKay/Langston Hughes/Bessie Smith/Wallace Thurman
  • Dorian Corey/Pepper Labieja
  • Frank Ocean, Raven-Symoné
  • Jason Collins
  • Sylvester James, Jr./RuPaul
  • Meshell Ndegeochello
  • James Baldwin
  • Don Lemon
  • Bayard Rustin

LGBT and the Harlem Renaissance

Novelists, writers, poets, and musicians of the Harlem Renaissance made quite an impact on LGBT culture through their art. Most notably, poet Langston Hughes, novelists Claude McKay and Wallace Thurman, and blues singer Bessie Smith used their words to express their thoughts and personal experiences with LGBT culture. Hughes, McKay, and Thurman's works can all be read as "gay texts," chronicling relationships and friendships within the LGBT community. Similarly, Smith's music often focused on the theme of same-gender love.

(Photos from left: CORBIS, Bettmann/CORBIS, Hulton Archive/Getty Images, WikiCommons)

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