Black Gay and Lesbian Journalists Feel Overshadowed by Civil Rights Movements

By Fitzgerald, Mark | Editor & Publisher, August 28, 1993 | Go to article overview

Black Gay and Lesbian Journalists Feel Overshadowed by Civil Rights Movements


Fitzgerald, Mark, Editor & Publisher


In their efforts to redress the wrongs they say have been inflicted upon them, African-American gay and lesbian journalists face an ironic barrier: the black civil rights struggle.

An emotional and occasionally raucous session at the recent National Association of Black Journalists convention was the first direct attempt to fix where black homosexual journalists fit inside the larger community of black journalists.

Throughout the sometimes heated discussion, this question lingered as subtext: Is the gay liberation movement anything like the black civil rights struggle? Several journalists argued vigorously that it is.

"All the things we [blacks] have endured as a people, we [gay blacks] have endured as well," said Donald Suggs of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

"But on top of that'" Suggs added, "we have had to endure the ravages of our own community."

Black homosexuals too often find themselves shunned by both the black community and gays and lesbians, several gay and lesbian African-American journalists said.

"Because we are missing from the picture, it seems that gay equals white," said Linda Villarosa, senior editor of Essence magazine and a lesbian.

Nadine Smith, a former Tampa (Fla.) Tribune reporter turned full-time gay activist, was one of the four co-chairs of last spring's Washington gay rights march.

Yet the media virtually ignored her and other gay and lesbian minorities, Smith said.

"It was a battle over and over to get the media to talk to someone who was not white and male," she said. "The job with the black press was harder," Smith continued. "We would send out the press releases and follow up with phone calls and nothing would appear."

One reason: "There's a sense that the gay and lesbian struggle is riding on the coattails of the African-American experience," Smith said.

One journalist who feels that way is Chicago Sun-Times columnist and editorial board member Vernon Jarrett.

Jarrett argued vigorously - amid occasional hooting and catcalls - that any comparison of the bloody black civil rights movement and gay rights is odious.

"It does trivialize the experience of black people, which is unparalleled," he said.

Homosexuals were never held as slaves, Jarrett observed. They were never declared three-fifths of a person by the U.S. Constitution, nor declared property by the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Black Gay and Lesbian Journalists Feel Overshadowed by Civil Rights Movements
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.