Rotimi Fani Kayode

Rotimi Fani Kayode
Rotimi Fani Kayode
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TODAY we celebrate

Rotimi Fani Kayode

Rotimi Fani Kayode was a Nigerian-born British photographer. He was a member of the Brixton Artists Collective and his work explored tensions between race and sexuality, masculinity and culture. His life was cut short at the age of 34, but his groundbreaking portrait work has become a major influence in contemporary photography and cemented his reputation as a pivotal figure in black photography.

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Lorraine Hansberry

TODAY we celebrate

Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry was the first African American playwright to have her work performed on Broadway. Her work was concerned with racial segregation. Her writing and plays tackled subjects from racial segregation to homophobia and the struggle for African liberation. She is the inspiration for Nina Simone’s song To Be Young, Gifted and Black.

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William Dorsey Swann

Willliam Dorsey Swann
Willliam Dorsey Swann
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William Dorsey Swann

William Dorsey Swann was a gay rights activist and former slave. He was a true original, the first known ‘Queen of Drag’, he hosted drag balls for formerly enslaved men, for which he was repeatedly arrested, harassed and eventually falsely imprisoned. He referred to himself as a Queen of Drag. William has been selected an ICON as a reminder that we must always remember the people who did it before us and the battles that have been fought for centuries.

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Blackberri

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Blackberri

Blackberri is a musician songwriter and community activist who writes music confronting social issues. He was born Charles Timothy Ashmore but changed his name to Blackberri, a name he adopted while living in a feminist collective. He was discharged from the Navy in 1966 for being gay. During the AIDS epidemic, he moved towards community organisation and has given labour to social movements from Black Lives Matter to anti-eviction and HIV education movements.

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Nao Bustamante

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Nao Bustamante

Nao Bustamante is an artist, writer and film maker working across multiple mediums. Her work is concerned with the body, performativity, ethnicity, class, gender. She is an alum of the San Francisco Art Institute New Genres program and the Skowhegen School of Painting and Sculpture. She currently an Associate Professor and Vice Dean of Art at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. In 2014-15, Bustamante was the Queer Artist in Residence at UC Riverside. “I stand at the intersection of many communities: queer, feminist, Latinx, artist and educator,” she said. “I live all those identities at the same time.”

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Bayard Rustin

TODAY we celebrate

Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin was a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century from the 1940’s onwards. He was a leader in the fight for socialism, racial equality and gay rights. He was committed to non-violence, serving as an important adviser and strategist in the worker’s and civil rights movements. Among dozens of important activities, he served on humanitarian missions abroad and participated in the organisation of the Freedom Rides. In 2013 President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Denise Ho

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Denise Ho

Denise Ho is a Hong-Kong born, pro-democracy human rights activist, actor and Cantopop singer. She came out publicly in 2012 at Hong Kong pride, making her the first openly gay Cantopop singer in Hong Kong. She has been blacklisted by Government of China since 2014 due to her work in the Umbrella Movement.

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Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean

TODAY we celebrate

Frank Ocean

Singer, songwriter, producer, visual artist and photographer Frank Ocean is known for revitalising jazz and funk-influenced R&B. Best known for his 2012 album Channel Orange, which quickly became a classic of the genre, he is now one of the most celebrated artists of his generation.

#frankocean #blackamericansinger

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Frank Ocean
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Billy Porter

Billy Porter

TODAY we celebrate

Billy Porter

Billy Porter is a multi-award-winning actor and singer. In 2013 he was awarded Best Actor in a Musical for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots at the 67th Tony Awards. He made waves at the 91st Academy Awards when he walked the red carpet in a tuxedo jacket and a velvet gown by designer Christian Siriano. In a 2020 interview with Vanity Fair he made a scathing critique of the political status quo, saying that “The reason why our country is in the mess we’re in is simply because of whiteness. White supremacy. White people choke-holding power and sucking the life out of humanity”.

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Billy Porter
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Janet Mock

Janet Mock

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Janet Mock

Redefining Realness, Janet Mock’s memoir of her teenage years, adolescence and transition was a New York Times bestseller. In her role as a writer, director and producer on the the FX show Pose, she became the first out trans woman of colour to be hired as a writer for a TV series. She is a writer, actor, director and transgender rights activist.

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Janet Mock
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