The LGBT Health & Development Program

Hidden in the Open: A Photo Essay to Honor Black History Month

Posted on February 10th, 2012 by Farrin in Youth Blog. No Comments

Black History Month is a time to reflect and celebrate the accomplishments, the spirit, and the love of all African Americans.  This month, in honor, we’d like you to take a stroll through a special part of African-American History–the gay part!  Trent Kelley has an amazing Flickr Archive of vintage photos of African-American gay male couples that he has graciously agreed to share with our followers.  The images date as far back as the Civil War as the couples frolic, pose, laugh, and love!

These are just a few favorites from the large and expanding archive.  To be photographed together in an intimate manner indicated that these men had strong feelings for each other; feelings that should continue to be celebrated.   This amazing collection does just that! (…And of course, everybody knows that photo-booths are for lovers!)

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Afro American Men, 1930s or 40s

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Also be sure to check out the photo descriptions as Trent Kelley has taken great care to craft a related story, poem, or historical note to nearly every one.  It’s important to be proud of our LGBTQ history and these images remind us of our presence throughout history, in every culture.

Trent Kelley adds,

“Despite whatever circumstance the men in these photographs came from, they lived and loved and never allowed anyone to tell their stories, but for the stories they wanted told through each and every one of their photographs presented here. They triumphantly defined themselves, for themselves, to show they weren’t anyone’s victim. Never underestimate the power of images.”

This video has a great segment about the archive.  At the 4:30 minute mark, you can see an interview with Trent Kelley and learn more about his photographs:



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