Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

Parallel form(s) of name

  • CLCBLG
  • CLC&BLG

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

    Other form(s) of name

    • Camden Lesbian Centre Project
    • Camden Black Lesbian Group

    Identifiers for corporate bodies

    1534 CLCBLG

    Description area

    Dates of existence

    1982-1996

    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.

    Places

    Camden
    Somers Town
    Central London
    London
    Kentish Town

    Legal status

    Functions, occupations and activities

    Mandates/sources of authority

    Internal structures/genealogy

    General context

    Relationships area

    Related entity

    Camden Lesbian Working Group (c.1980-1982)

    Identifier of related entity

    Category of relationship

    temporal

    Type of relationship

    Camden Lesbian Working Group is the predecessor of Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

    Dates of relationship

    Description of relationship

    Camden Lesbian Working Group became Camden Lesbian Centre Project in 1982, merging with the Black Lesbian Group and establishing CLCBLG in 1985.

    Related entity

    ONYX: The social and discussion group for Black lesbians and lesbians of colour (c.1989-c.1995)

    Identifier of related entity

    Category of relationship

    associative

    Type of relationship

    ONYX: The social and discussion group for Black lesbians and lesbians of colour is the friend of Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

    Dates of relationship

    1991 - 1995

    Description of relationship

    From mid-1991 onward, ONYX met at Camden Lesbian Centre at 54-56 Phoenix Road.

    Related entity

    Zamimass (1990-c.1998)

    Identifier of related entity

    Category of relationship

    associative

    Type of relationship

    Zamimass is the friend of Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

    Dates of relationship

    1991

    Description of relationship

    Zamimass met at CLCBLG's premises at Phoenix Road from c.1991-1995.

    Related entity

    DAHLING (c.1990s)

    Identifier of related entity

    Category of relationship

    associative

    Type of relationship

    DAHLING is the friend of Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

    Dates of relationship

    c.1990s

    Description of relationship

    DAHLING met regularly at CLCBLG until the Centre closed around 1995.

    Related entity

    GEMMA (1976-)

    Identifier of related entity

    Category of relationship

    associative

    Type of relationship

    GEMMA is the friend of Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

    Dates of relationship

    1987-09-17 - 1995-09-17

    Description of relationship

    From c.1987-c.1995, GEMMA held regular meetings at Camden Lesbian Centre at 54-56 Phoenix Road.

    Related entity

    Older Lesbian Network (1984-)

    Identifier of related entity

    Category of relationship

    associative

    Type of relationship

    Older Lesbian Network is the friend of Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

    Dates of relationship

    Description of relationship

    The OLN met at CLCBLG's Phoenix Road centre from the late 1980s until the mid-1990s.

    Access points area

    Place access points

    Occupations

    Control area

    Authority record identifier

    GB 1534 CLCBLG

    Institution identifier

    1534

    Rules and/or conventions used

    Status

    Revised

    Level of detail

    Dates of creation, revision and deletion

    Authority record created by Lucy Brownson on 07/09/2021

    Language(s)

    • English

    Script(s)

      Sources

      Maintenance notes