A study day is being held in conjunction with the display on Saturday 23 February and will explore London’s black LGBT history through talks, discussion and debate with Ajamu from rukus! Lynette Goddard, Historian and Steven G Fullwood, project director of Black, Gay and Lesbian Archive, New York.
Museum in Docklands has worked closely with Ajamu, an internationally acclaimed photographer and co-founder of rukus! Federation and the rukus! black LGBT archive, to create a display which publicly commemorates the people and events that have shaped the lives of black LGBT. From the colourful, pop filled 80s with an emerging marginalised group in search of a voice to the post-millenial noughties where the activism had begun to pay off and there were openly gay black artists such as David McAlmont, Labi Siffre and Skin from Skunk Anansie, establishing themselves in the arenas of music, fashion and theatre.
Ajamu, co-curator of Outside Edge displays says: ‘This has been a wonderful opportunity to develop our community outreach programme and create an equitable partnership with a mainstream organisation. London has always been a rich culturally diverse city and black LGBT history, heritage and lived experiences have been an integral part of this rich tapestry.’
The display showcases dazzling theatre posters, dramatic leaflets and badges and dynamic artwork for album covers and club flyers. Film footage, extracts from The Guardian and The Voice newspapers, alongside music lyrics reinforces the experiences of the black LGBT community as they struggled to make themselves visible and battle against the exclusion they felt from both lesbian and gay (predominantly white) and black (predominantly heterosexual) events.
David Spence, Director of Museum in Docklands says: ‘Once again we are revealing an untold history and telling the story of those that have struggled for equality, a theme shared with the recently opened London, Sugar & Slavery gallery. Londoners from all backgrounds will find this display informative and engaging.’
Outside Edge looks at the strong black LGBT community and their campaign to establish themselves as part of a wider community, no longer positioned on the outside. This display runs until 4 April 2008.