Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

CBLG Holds MLK Tribute
by Cleve Adkins
2005-02-01

This article shared 3642 times since Tue Feb 1, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Pictured CBLG members: Back row, from left: Robert Ames, Lois Bates and Ronald Lee. Front: Kashaun Collier, Alexia Johnson-Payne and Lalisha Payne. Photos by Lynnell S. Long

With the theme of 'Community Building for Building Our Communities,' the Chicago Black Lesbians & Gays ( CBLG ) held its 10th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration on Monday, Jan. 17 at St. Kevin's Church on the city's Far South Side.

And despite wonderful dramatic, vocal and spoken word performances, what was clearly missing in the event was a keynote address that connected the words and works of King to the mission that today faces the Black LGBT community of Chicago.

The morning began with Alexia Johnson-Payne pouring libations in honor of the ancestors accompanied by drummer Robert Hillman. Speaking in languages from the Mother Country, and with members of the community moved to dance, it was a fitting opening to the service.

CBLG member Lois Bates served as the mistress of ceremonies and as is always the case, interjected her own style of humor to keep the service moving.

In the morning welcome, given by CBLG Steering Committee Co-Chair Robert Ames, he thanked the small but lively audience for braving the cold to honor the contributions of one of this country's greatest warriors for peace and equal rights.

'It's important that we come together to acknowledge the impact of Martin Luther King's life on the freedoms that we enjoy today,' Ames said. 'When you look back at the difference he made in the civil-rights movement, one cannot help but recall the personal struggle that he endured. But his contributions continue to live on and we hope that by our celebration of his legacy that we can serve as an inspiration to those of us from the LGBT community to follow in his footsteps. Like King we must we willing to correct what is wrong in our world. But we can only be successful if we stand together.'

In most services honoring King, the words of his more powerful sermons are usually played on audio or video. But at this celebration, with the dramatic skills of members of Dereque Whiturs' Happy Nia Productions, the audience was given the opportunity to 'see' King in action as his moving 'I've Been to the Mountain Top' sermon was reenacted with two accompanying singers.

It was a unique mixture of drama and music that emphasized the songs of the civil-rights movement and their powerful effect on their listeners.

The guest speaker for the celebration was Lloyd Kelly, director, Let's Talk, Let's Test, a program supported by Illinois State Rep. Constance 'Connie' Howard, from the 34th District.

Kelly is well-known in the community for his ability to mobilize forces and for his dedication to bringing improved health services to the Black community in the wake of the AIDS epidemic.

'It is amazing the kinds of things that Dr. King was able to accomplish in such a short life, in fact it is really awesome when you think about it,' Kelly said. 'But the key question for us today is what are we going to do?'

At this point in his presentation Kelly chose to turn to the political maneuverings that have been going on in Chicago and in Springfield as a result of his program and those bills sponsored or co-sponsored by Howard.

'We need to look at HIV/AIDS and its effects on the Black community,' he said. 'In the Black community, we all live with it in some way or another.'

Kelly went on to emphasize recent statistics that indicate the disproportionate number of Blacks who are living with HIV/AIDS.

'It is estimated that 54 percent of all cases will be Blacks, but we only make up 12 percent of the U.S. population,' he emphasized. 'And 72 of 100 new infections are Blacks. What correlation should we make given these disturbing numbers? That AIDS is the 21st century version of Black genocide.

'Have you gotten tested recently? If not, do it, and do it regularly. It's important that everyone know their status. And if we're going to save the Black community we must begin to understand politically what is going on—this is a public policy issue.'

In his close, Kelly shared information about a new bill that Howard has taken to the floor which would benefit both Black youth and those Blacks currently incarcerated in the state's prison system. He invited those present to consider coming to Springfield when the next session begins.

But this writer was disappointed that Kelly did not use the opportunity to teach the younger members about the work of King while making specific connections to work that can be done today. Still, his efforts were laudable as he highlighted the major health threat to the African-American race today.

Vicky Nabors gave a brief testimony about why she has become involved in the Gay Games VII, a sports and cultural festival scheduled for July 15-22, 2006. [ www.gaygameschicago.org . ]

'We have the opportunity to meet other LGBT people from around the globe when they come to Chicago next year,' she said. 'Already committees are being formed and there is certainly a lot of revenue to be made for those who can offer services during the games. There will be wonderful opportunities to attend parties and gatherings and share our dreams and our fears with others. But we need to make sure we will be at those parties and functions—not looking from the outside in but from the inside out.'

But the highlight of the celebration was the spoken word 'Contradictions' performed by E. Nina Jay. Jay has become a regular fixture in the Chicago spoken word community, a prize winner at several highly competitive events and a young woman who continues to share her gifts and vision as a self-proclaimed 'lesbian/woman activist.'

What's most impressive about Jay is how she has survived both rape and incest to use her writing as a tool for healing, light and power.

Her complete text is highlighted in this month's edition of Identity.

Finally, because of CBLG's generous sponsors, a sumptuous brunch was offered at the end of the service free of charge.

CBLG is an organization that exists solely through volunteer efforts and Ames, along with co-chair Kashaun Collier, and seven other dedicated officers and members, need your help. Contact CBLG at ( 312 ) 409-4917, send in your membership fee and become involved.

Far too often we in the LGBT community complain about what is or what it not but never become involved to bring about positive change.

Thanks CBLG for another year and for honoring 'The King.'


This article shared 3642 times since Tue Feb 1, 2005
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WTTW doc chronicles the activism of Danny Sotomayor 2023-11-03
- Practically everything the late Chicago AIDS activist Danny Sotomayor did was "a fight." So says fellow activist Victor Salvo in the new WTTW documentary The Outrage of Danny Sotomayor, which is part of the station's Chicago ...


Gay News

GAY HISTORY MONTH George Harris reflects on his late husband and Dallas activism 2023-10-10
- Special to Windy City Times. To mark Gay History Month, this article appears courtesy of Dallas Voice and the LGBT History Project. When George Harris and Jack Evans became the first couple to legally marry in ...


Gay News

Creating Change Conference calls for proposals, deadline fast approaching 2023-10-09
--From a press release - It's time to submit proposals for the 2024 Creating Change Conference happening in New Orleans, LA, Jan. 17-21, 2024. The Creating Change Conference is expected to draw over 3000 queer and allied activists to join to ...


Gay News

Prime minister of Andorra comes out as gay 2023-09-11
- Xavier Espot Zamora, the head of the government of the tiny European country of Andorra, has come out as gay—although he added that he never hid his sexual orientation, according to a translated article from The ...


Gay News

SAVOR LGBTQ+-owned Sfera co-owner talks menu, activism and more 2023-08-18
- Sfera Sicilian Street Food (5759 N. Broadway; https://www.sferachicago.com/) is the type of place where you can't help but get good vibes. This cozy Edgewater restaurant—owned by Chef Steven Jarczyk and Daniela Vitale, who are both member ...


Gay News

Brady-Davis sworn in to new water commissioner post 2023-07-13
- Community members gave a warm welcome to activist Precious Brady-Davis when she was sworn as the newest Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) Commissioner the afternoon of July 12. Brady-Davis was greeted with a ...


Gay News

SAVOR Owners of LGBTQ+-owned Wunderkeks talk activism, company and sweets 2023-06-30
- Anyone who considers himself/herself/themself a connoisseur of sweets has probably heard of Wunderkeks, the Austin-based company that has only been in the United States for three years. However, what some may not know is that Wunderkeks ...


Gay News

Gay youth pastor from Lake Street Church removed from Baptist World Alliance Commissions 2023-06-22
- A youth pastor at Evanston's Lake Street Church, T.J. Williams, was removed from two global commissions run by the Baptist World Alliance because he's gay, he said. Since 2020, Williams served on the Baptist World Alliance's ...


Gay News

PASSAGES: LGBTQ+ advocate Margaret Davis a.k.a. Spencer Ice 2023-06-06
- Bisexual LGBTQ+ advocate and retired University of Chicago auditor Margaret Davis, a.k.a. Spencer Ice, died May 30 after a 14 year battle with cancer. Davis was born on Aug. 3 (she wished not to have ...


Gay News

Chef Art Smith talks upcoming dinner and activism 2023-05-26
- More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, including more than 230,000 Illinoisans. Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends serve as dementia caregivers, with more than 383,000 caregivers in Illinois. Unti ...


Gay News

About Face Theater hosts Leppen Leadership Awards 2023-05-23
- On May 14, About Face Theater presented its Leppen Leadership Awards to members of the LGBTQ+ community for their activism and service. The organization normally awards two individuals a year but decided to expand this year, ...


Gay News

MUSIC Billy Porter talks 'Mona Lisa,' authenticity and activism 2023-05-15
- Billy Porter certainly seems to have it all. The actor/singer/director received numerous awards—including two Tonys (for his role in Kinky Boots and as a producer of A Strange Loop), a Grammy (for Kinky Boots as well) ...


Gay News

Joseph Kraft: Gay Chicago artist talks activism, stereotypes, love of art 2023-04-20
- Joseph Kraft has been an artist practically all his life. The Illinois native and Ukrainian Village resident's love of art has taken him to many places. His latest big move was more professional than geographical, as ...


Gay News

ONYX Midwest forum tackles racist performance at Touche's anniversary party 2023-01-22
- In a response to the racist performance that took place at the leather, fetish and bear-focused Touche Chicago's 45th anniversary celebration on Nov. 1, 2022, ONYX Midwest hosted a community forum Jan. 21 at The Leather ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH bell hooks: A voice of love, activism and intersectionality 2022-10-22
- When bell hooks died on Dec. 15, 2021, it was a gut punch. There was no time when bell hooks' extraordinary writing and feminist and lesbian theorizing was not part of the queer community. There was ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.