5 Black LGBT Writers To Follow Online

Organized by the brilliant Amber Williams and in honor of Black History Month, ” #UMBlackout: Mobilizing Black Communities for Radical Transformation in the Digital Age” symposium was a day long opportunity for “contemporary black activist leadership” to engage in “transformative change through digital forums. Through workshops, lectures, and a panel discussion, a wide variety of scholars, campus and grassroots organizers engaged in diverse reflections about the role of the internet in social change efforts through strategic mobilization.”

After being in attendance for the Blackest day ever, I was so inspired by the writers and content creators who led workshops and delivered keynotes all day, and by those who weren’t present but whose wisdom was called into the room. I wanted to share a list of 5 incredible Black writers who are shaping their communities.

  1. Alexis Pauline Gumbs was one of the amazing presenters at #UMBLACKOUT and it is impossible to say enough about how prolific and gifted she is. “Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black trouble-maker and a black feminist love evangelist. She walks in the legacy of black lady school teachers in post slavery communities who offered sacred educational space to the intergenerational newly free in exchange for the random necessities of life. As the first person to do archival research in the papers of Audre Lorde, June Jordan and Lucille Clifton while achieving her PhD in English, Africana Studies and Women’s Studies at Duke University, she honors the lives and creative works of Black feminist geniuses as sacred texts for all people. She believes that in the time we live in, access to the intersectional holistic brilliance of the black feminist tradition is as crucial as learning how to read.” With some of the best tumblrs ever including Black Feminist Breathing Chorus and Quirky Black Girls to name a few; there are so many places you can read her work both on and offline.
  2. Morgan Willis is the head writer at  bklyn boihood and the Content Coordinator at Allied Media Projects. Thoughtful and accessible, Mo can bring a room to laughter as quickly as she can inspire. Here, Morgan reads from a current work-in-progress, “Politics from Nowhere.”
  3. Adrienne Marie Brown Co-Editor at Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements,  sci-fi scholar, writer and facilitator. Adrienne is a force, creating speculative fiction and sharing solid wisdom on everything from organizing to recipes on her blog. From her most recent response to the ‘Formation’ video: “And then, finally, one of the central lyrics is basically a visionary fiction mantra: I dream it/I work hard/I grind til/I own itWe create from what we can imagine. We are living right now inside the imaginings of people whose mental illness makes them believe they are superior to other human beings. This video is part of the resistance, the new imaginings that we use to pull ourselves towards liberation.”
  4. Edward (Eddie) Ndopu is a black (dis) abled queer femme Afro-politan living in South Africa. Named by the Mail and Guardian Newspaper as one of their Top 200 Young South Africans, he is a social critic, anti-oppression practitioner, consultant, writer and scholar. Eddie’s approach to queer femme politics and an incredibly nuanced understanding of disability justice make the work they produce urgently necessary across all movements.  From their Black Girl Dangerous Article:

“To negotiate my survival as a disabled queer femme Afropolitan, I break down what it means to survive into little pieces of grace, then take those little pieces of grace and reconstruct existence in a way that challenges the normative. Without difference, the universe would be less vulnerable, less revealing, less courageous.”

Or their incredibly powerful piece, A Black Crip’s Perspective On Fashion

“When I ‘wheel’ through the world donning one of my ‘super-fly’ waistcoats over a crisply pressed button-up white shirt, held together by a brightly-colored signature silk bow tie, that is an act of resistance and decolonization because I am exercising agency over my aesthetic, albeit within larger structures of constraint. By doing so, I challenge the sociocultural imposition of an expected (drawing from ableist tropes) way of being. Indeed, I am giving ableism the middle finger.”

5. Tiq Milan is a writer, public speaker activist, strategic media consultant — and my husband. There is a lot about his work I love, but in particular his writings about transforming masculinity including his most recent, ‘Five Tips For Carefree Black Boys‘,

“Believe This Truth: Rape Culture Is Real. In our culture, rape, sexual assault and violence against women is made normal and so easily denied when women share their stories. The egregiousness is not just the vehement denial of a women’s experience, but the fierce defensiveness, distracting, and victim blaming that follows. It’s never a women’s fault when they’re the victim of sexuality assault. It doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, how much she had to drink, if she said yes before, if she’s a sex worker, or if she’s had multiple partners.”

There is no shortage of genius and generosity between these 5, I encourage everyone to find ways to support their work and share below other writers to add to the list.

Kim Katrin Milan is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed artist, educator and writer.

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