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Digital Subscriptions > Gay Times > October 17 > BLACK EXCELLENCE

BLACK EXCELLENCE

THE QUEER PIONEERS WHO BUILT BLACK CULTURE.

Prince, Beyoncé and Dr Martin Luther King Jr are among the biggest cultural and sociological phenomenons of the 20th century and beyond. But they’re standing on the shoulder’s of giants. To mark Black History Month, we celebrate the queer pioneers behind some of the world’s biggest icons.

Throughout history, black artists and cultural figures have laid the foundations that people of all races have built their success on. The Rolling Stone’s named their band after a song by blues singer Muddy Waters. Elvis’ entire career was based on the stylings of Buddy Holly and Little Richard. Even today, artists cite the likes of Prince and Beyoncé as musical influences. Outside of the arts, Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s teachings have been appropriated and misappropriated by almost every school of progressive political thought in the western world since he first uttered the words, “I have a dream.”

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About Gay Times

In this issue, we highlight the queer people of colour who continue to fight for equality, justice and visibility all over the world. Fresh from a media firestorm surrounding comments she made about white supremacy, we talk to Munroe Bergdorf about the importance of speaking up; Jason Okundaye about the controversy surrounding his claims about widespread racism in the UK; Bisi Alimi on how only death will prevent him for fighting for the lives of LGBT+ Nigerians; and Travis Alabanza on using performance as a salve for healing. We also look at how activists like Bayard Rustin paved the way for generations of young activists, and how musicians like Sylvester and Ma Rainey set the blueprint for artists like Prince, Beyonce and Rihanna. Allies and media representation continue to play an important role in the modern gay rights movement. Luke Goss speaks on the “absurdity” of having to vote on human rights issues, and we look at how programmes like Will and Grace have had such an enduring impact on the lives of LGBT+ people around the world. Elsewhere in the issue, John Waters on making trouble; drag performer Amrou Al-Kadhi on finding love; openly gay actor and musician Jussie Smollett on his groundbreaking role on Empire; and Charli XCX on her never-ending adoration for her gay fans. Finally, our cover star, Harry Judd, takes us on his journey of battling anxiety and stress with fitness and implores all of us to approach a more holistic approach to our lives and wellbeing. As usual, the issue is packed with style, travel, opinion and politics, and is available to download now.
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