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

The Rise of Ball Culture

Inspiring modern-day LGBT icons such as Madonna and Beyoncé, Dorian Corey and Pepper Labieja helped introduce ball culture, an underground LGBT subculture in which people “walk” for trophies and prizes at events frequently referred to as “balls.”  The doc, Paris Is Burning, is one of the most well-known visuals showcasing ball culture, which featured Corey and Labieja. Beyoncé said in a 2006 interview with The Independent that she credits much of her on-stage confidence to that of ball culture: "I still have that in me."

(Photos: Academy Entertainment, Off White Productions, Miramax Films)

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