"1979: Beginnings" Panel discussions


A two-day discussion of the artistic/intellectual currents of 1979 in the African-American LGBTQ community, bisexuality, and the creation of the National Coalition of Black Gays.

Day One (25 May 2001). Panelists discussed the issues and events of 1979 for the African-American GLBT community, including carding issues, the Third World conference, the March on Washington and the creation of the DC Coalition and the National Coalition of Black Gays.

Day Two (8 June 2001). Panelists discussed issues, organizations, and cultural developments for the Black gay and lesbian community. Dr Sheila Wise's film, "A Different Kind of Black Man" (2001) set the introspective tone for the evening, which was in many ways a continuation of the first session. Michelle Parkerson and ABilly S. Jones spoke of the issues in 1979 and their roles in the artistic and political events and of the meaning of the events then and now. In a deeply probing examination of past and present, Parkerson and Jones looked at 'namings', the emergence of Black gay and lesbian political participation and the founding of the DC Coalition and the National Coalition of Black Gays as vehicles for poltical expression. Jones recalled the April 1978 meeting at which 12 people from the region formed the Baltimore-DC Coalition of Black Gays. Parkerson and Jones both remarked on the positive feelings generated by the Third World Conference and the remarkable walk down Georgia Avenue on an October Sunday afternoon to join the 1979 March on Washington. Parkerson noted that "we saw our art as having political impact." Discussion of 1979 generated intense discussion between the panel and the audience on roles, 'naming', and future directions. As it had the night before during the Latino presentation, reviewing our history led to an examination of the present.

Day 1, Part 1 of 4
Day 1, Part 2 of 4
Day 2, Part 3 of 4
Day 2, Part 4 of 4


Yes, transcript available. See attached.
Day 2 transcript courtesy Elinor Aspegren, 2024.

Original Format


1979 - Beginnings 5-22-01 transcript.pdf
1979 - Beginnings 6-08-2001 transcript.pdf


Day One: Darren Buckner (moderator); Valerie Papaya Mann; Philip Pannell; Michael Sainte-Andress, Dr. Sheila Wise. Day Two: Darren Buckner (moderator); ABilly S. Jones-Hennin; Michelle Parkerson; , “"1979: Beginnings" Panel discussions,” Rainbow History Project Digital Collections, accessed April 19, 2024, https://archives.rainbowhistory.org/items/show/1294.

Output Formats


Copy the code below into your web page