Series 3 - Black Lesbian Feminism

Original Digital object not accessible

Identity area

Reference code

GB 1534 CLCBLG/3

Title

Black Lesbian Feminism

Date(s)

  • 1971 - 1996 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Extent and medium

Series contains 18 files of textual material, totalling 3 archive boxes.

Context area

Name of creator

(1982-1996)

Administrative history

The Camden Lesbian Centre Project (CLCP) was founded in 1982, when several women from a loose social collective known as Kentish Town Lesbian Group (based at the nearby Kentish Town Women’s Workshop) recognised the need for a space expressly for lesbians. The group - all of whom were white lesbians - successfully applied for grant funding from Camden Council Women's Committee, and they began organising regular meetings and events with a view to establishing a centre for lesbians. In 1984, the Black Lesbian Group was founded as a support group for Black lesbians and lesbians of colour, who faced the tripartite barriers of homophobia, racism, and misogyny; the group used the term 'Black' in the broader political sense.

Having worked closely together, Camden Lesbian Centre Project and the Black Lesbian Group merged to form the Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group (CLCBLG) in 1985. Despite their differences and the fact that CLCP had originally excluded Black lesbians from its initial stages, BLG members felt the merger presented an opportunity to improve things for their community. The merger agreement stipulated that at least 50% of CLCBLG's staff and its Management Committee would comprise Black lesbians and that around half of the Centre's events and workshops would be for Black lesbians only.

From 1985-86, CLCBLG sought out premises across Camden. Although initially unsure of how the site would work for them, the group eventually applied for a change of use for a former retail space at 54-56 Phoenix Road, which they were granted amidst vocal resistance and homophobia from some local residents. The group signed the lease in September 1986. CLCBLG worked with Matrix Feminist Design Co-operative, Support Community Building and Common Ownership Design and Construct (CODAC) to renovate and alter the Centre before opening its doors to the public on Saturday 31 October 1987. From this point onward, the Centre was a social and political hub for many strands of London's lesbian community, becoming home to workshops, socials, seminars, discussion groups and other events. It became the base of groups like the Older Lesbian Network, Zamimass Black lesbian group, and GEMMA, the friendship network for disabled and non-disabled lesbians.

With successive and ever more severe cuts to grant funding from Camden Council, CLCBLG was forced to scale down its paid staff members and operations from c.1990 onwards. The Centre eventually wrapped up its operations in 1996, when the group was informed that they'd receive no grant funding in that year's budget.

Repository

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Series contains material relating to organisations for Black lesbians and lesbians of colour; Black and Asian women's groups; feminist campaigns; anti-racist organisations and campaigns; Black and Brown women's political activism; and global solidarity actions and campaigns. Includes publications, flyers, posters, booklets, leaflets, press cuttings, newsletters, and more.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

This series is arranged into 18 files.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Some files are closed for data protection reasons. Please consult the Archivist at Glasgow Women’s Library.

Conditions governing reproduction

Please consult the Archivist.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

No technical requirements.

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

Please note: Within material in this series, the term 'Black' is often used in the broader political sense, encompassing Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour. As such, this material's original descriptions have largely been retained, added to, and linked to other relevant archival records using subject headings including 'Black people (LGBTQ)' and 'People of colour (LGBTQ)' in the 'Subject access points' field; clicking on each subject heading will enable you to view the catalogue entries for related material elsewhere in the CLCBLG Archive and the wider GWL archive collections.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

CLCBLG 3

Institution identifier

GB 1534

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000)

Status

Draft

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created Summer 2021

Language(s)

  • English

Script(s)

Sources

Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area