Revolutionary Hope – The Ties that Bind
An evening of Black women & Black queer men in conversation
Do we still live in a period of revolutionary hope, or have we settled for quiescent despair?
In the 35 years since Essence published this defining conversation between Audre Lorde and James Baldwin, Black women and Black queer men have been ‘redefining the terms of the western world’. Sometimes together, often apart.
Lorde and Baldwin’s electric exchange from 1984 is less well known today, but its challenge, vitality and urgency remain.
AL: . . . we have to take a new look at the ways in which we fight our joint oppression because if we don’t, we’re gonna be blowing each other up. We have to begin to redefine the terms of what woman is, what man is, how we relate to each other.
JB: But that demands redefining the terms of the western world…
AL: And both of us have to do it; both of us have to do it…
JB: But you don’t realize that in this republic the only real crime is to be a Black man?
AL: No, I don’t realize that. I realize the only crime is to be Black. I realize the only crime is to be Black, and that includes me too.
Evidence suggests that Black people are more likely to hold homophobic views. Those who oppose same-sex relationships are declining in number but after decades of radical change, those who hold homophobic world views are becoming more entrenched in their views. Black women disproportionately feature in this group.
In 2010, 58% of Black and South Asian 16-44 year olds believed same-sex relationships were always wrong (down from 67% in 1990) – in contrast, only 12% of white respondents in this age group held this view (down from 46%).
Britain may be reaching ‘peak acceptance’ of homosexuality
BlackOut and Trusted Black Girl are hosting a conversation this May; bringing Black Queer men and Black women together to respond to Audre Lorde’s demand that we take ‘a new look at the ways in which we fight our joint oppression’.
‘Revolutionary Hope‘ will be an informal discussion; an all too-rare opportunity to reflect on progress made and challenges that persist; a chance to assess the nature and state of our allyship
Gay men need to be better allies to women combating male violence – September 2018
#MeToo and us – Feb 2018
The women risking their lives to fight homophobia in Africa – October 2017
Black Gay Men on their Relationship to Feminism – February 2016
TV Tropes – The Twofer Token Minority