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Black feminism
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Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group Archive

  • GB 1534 CLCBLG
  • Collection
  • 1964 - 2001

Papers and correspondence of Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group (CLCLBLG), a lesbian feminist collective and physical space (c.1982-1995). Includes autograph, typescript, printed and photocopied material.

The archive includes: personal and business correspondence; CLCBLG administrative records including annual reports, diaries, meeting minutes and agendas, employee information packs, policy and procedural documents, and related material; CLCBLG Management Committee administrative records, including meeting minutes; CLCBLG newsletters; CLCBLG publicity material including flyers, posters and leaflets; press cuttings covering CLCBLG’s development, contemporary lesbian and gay issues, and related issues and communities; newsletters and bulletins of various other women’s, feminist, LGBTQ+, community and/or voluntary organisations; feminist and/or LGBTQ+ periodicals and journals; papers, programmes, flyers and other material relating to various women’s and/or lesbian feminist conferences; literature, flyers and circular correspondence relating to global solidarity campaigns with women in the Global South (e.g., South Africa, Namibia, Chile, indigenous Australian communities, Peru, India, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and elsewhere); administrative records of Camden Council Women’s Committee including meeting minutes; administrative records of Camden Council Lesbian and Gay Unit including meeting minutes; administrative records of A Woman’s Place including meeting minutes and correspondence; literature relating to women’s health and wellbeing, including resource guides and reports; audio cassettes; VHS tapes; material relating to various feminist collectives and women’s groups, including briefings, journals, bulletins, information sheets, legal guidance; academic journal articles and longform journalism; administrative records of London Women’s Centre at Wesley House, 4 Wild Court including meeting minutes, correspondence relating to events and premises, and material relating to groups based at the Centre.

The collection also contains a sizeable photographic archive including original photographs, slides, prints, photocopied and printed images, many of which appear to have originated with – or been featured in – Outwrite women’s newspaper. Many of these photographs document CLCBLG’s life and its members, while others document local, national and international protests, struggles and activist campaigns.

Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

Black women's groups

Material relating to Black women’s groups, including newsletters, flyers, leaflets, journals, articles.

Includes: Camden Black Sisters Group pamphlet (n.d.); Hackney Council Women’s Unit newsletter (Jul 1993); CLC&BLG flyer for new management committee (c. Oct 1995); Black Feminist Newsletter (c.1985); Speak Out: Women Challenging Racism events bulletin (c.1984); copy of Cray Community Newsletter including article about death of Pat Parker (c.1989); copy of Deborah Orr article on gender dysphoria (n.d.); Black Link: The Journal of the Afro-Caribbean Educational Project journal (1993); South London Single Parents’ Group open day invitation & 2 flyers (1988); Elbwo Grapevine News (Nov 1989); Salsa Soul Sisters Inc. bulletin and events calendar (1985); Sex, Race and Class Black and Third World Women’s Discussion & Study Group bulletin including letter appealing for support re funding cuts (c.1988); events flyers for Women’s Resource Centre open day (1990; duplicates) and Camden Black Sisters Black Women Achievers Day (1990); West Hampstead Women’s Centre flyer (n.d.).

Black Lesbian events

Posters, flyers, handouts promoting poetry nights, music, disco nights, and other social events for Black lesbians and lesbians of colour.

Includes: flyers for events from Blacklesbian and Blackgay Pride, Black Lesbian Cultural Workers collective, Outwrite Women’s Newspaper, Azadi Asian Women’s Film Project, First International Feminist Bookfair, Sisterwrite Bookshop, Women’s Independent Cinema, SHAKTI and SHAKTI GHAR co-operative for homeless Asian lesbians and gay men, Onlywomen Press. Also includes a bibliography of books by or about Black lesbians from the LAIC (October 1988) and some poems from Not Vanishing by Chrystos (Press Gang, 1988).

Black lesbian feminism and Black feminist history & literature

Photocopies of articles and press cuttings relating to Black lesbian feminism and Black feminist history & literature.

Includes articles on: coming out as a Black lesbian; homosexuality and critical theory; ‘No More Buried Lives: The Theme of Lesbianism in Audre Lorde’s Zami, Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place, Ntozake Shange’s Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo, and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple’ [by Barbara Christian?], from Black Feminist Criticism: Perspectives on Black Women Writers (1986); Bessie Smith; Ma Rainey; Angelina Weld Grimké; Whitney Houston; Gladys Bentley; Ernestine Eckstein; Edmonia Lewis; Zora Neale Hurston; heterosexism in Hackney (article by Femi Otitoju).

Conferences for Black lesbians and gays

Material relating to conferences for Black lesbians and gays and lesbians & gays of colour, including flyers, leaflets, agendas, meeting minutes, programmes, conference papers, and information packs for various conferences and events.

Conferences include: the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre (BLGC) AGMs (1987-1989); Zami and Zami II conferences (1988 & 1989); International Lesbian and Gay People of Colour Conference (Nov 1990); Black Lesbians & Gays ‘Fighting Heterosexism in Our Communities!’ conference (21 Mar 1986); Asian Women’s Network ‘Organising into the 90s’ conference (Jun 1990); Black Pride and Solidarity, St Louis (Dec 1985); ‘Lesbian Politics – Just a Lifestyle?’ conference, Durban (Dec 1994); Black Caucus of Legislation for Lesbian & Gay Rights meeting (n.d.); ‘I Am Your Sister: Forging Global Connections across Differences’ conference, Boston MA (Oct 1990); ‘Black Communities: Living & Struggling Together’ conference (Feb 1986); London Against Racism ‘Youth: Racism & Power’ conference (n.d. [1984?]); Third World Lesbian workshop at 8th International Lesbian Information Service (ILIS) Conference, Geneva (Mar 1986).

Black lesbian groups (local and international)

Leaflets, flyers and posters for centres, organisations and events for Black lesbians.

Includes material that refers to: Camden Black Lesbian & Gay Centre (BLGC); London Rape Crisis Centre; Lesbian Archive & Information Centre; Blacklesbians Support Network; Over 40s African & Caribbean Women; Women’s Night Out: Lesbian Issues; CLCBLG; SWAPO Women’s Solidarity Campaign; Lesbian and Gay Solidarity with South African Workers (LGSSAW; run from Gay’s the Word); Lesbians in Coalition; Guarana’s [a lesbian club night]; the Afro-American Studies dept and African Student Union at San Diego State University; Young Black Zami Group; Blackchat at Shelburne Young Women’s Centre; Young Black Lesbians Group; West Hampstead Women’s Centre; Peckham Black Women’s Centre; Centerprise Word Up Women’s Café; Salsa Soul Sisters, Inc; Lesbians in Love and Trouble; Camden Black Sisters; Young Black Zamies; Kiran Asian Women’s Aid; Black Lesbian Defence Campaign; Brixton Black Women’s Centre; Blacklesbian Support Network; The Audre Lorde Project: Centre for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit & Transgender People of Color Communities; South Asian Lesbian & Gay Network; Friday Group (Lesbian & Gay Black Group); Hackney Black Lesbian Group; Nyitera House [Uganda]: Desire’s Night Out; Zami II National Blacklesbian Conference; Press Gang Publishers (leaflet for Not Vanishing by Chrystos); Third World AIDS Advisory Task Force & San Francisco AIDS Foundation; Shakti South Asian Lesbian and Gay Network; Lesbian Information Network; Women’s Resource Centre; Sinister Wisdom lesbian journal; Rape Counselling and Research Project; West London Cyrenians; Sisterwrite bookshop.

Black and Asian diaspora feminism and Black lesbian feminism

Folder of publications, journal articles and literature relating to Black and Asian diaspora feminism and Black lesbian feminism.

Includes: leaflet for ‘In Celebration of Audre Lorde’ fundraiser for Azania (n.d.); Black Women & Representation programme (Apr-May 1984); photocopy of ‘Other Voices, Other Moods’ by Alice Walker for Ms magazine (Feb 1979); June Jordan biography from City Limits (16 Mar 1989); Weekend Guardian articles on poverty and homosexuality in South Africa (12-13 May 1990); ‘Call and Response’ by Maud Sulter, from Feminist Art News 2.8 (n.d.); photocopy of extract of The Ladder: A Lesbian Review (Jun 1966); Camden Black Sisters herstory (n.d. [c.1980s]); Lesbian Archive & Information Centre flyer and [oral history?] questionnaire (n.d.); London Feminist History Group flyer (n.d.); circular letter and info from Sakhi Collective, Delhi (1994); Mukti and Connexions articles on Asian lesbians (1982 & 1985); transcript of Linda King’s interview with Melina Young (n.d.); circular from International Lesbian and Gay People of Colour Conference (ILGPOCC) Planning Group (n.d.); meeting minutes of Black Lesbian and Gay Support Group (17 Nov 1989); homophobic letter from Pan African Congress Movement (PACM) to Hackney Black Women’s Group (20 Mar 1990); Lesbian History Group summer programme (1990); Lesbian Information Service index of lesbian and women’s orgs (Jun 1988); photocopy of Joan Nestle’s interview with Mabel Hampton from Sinister Wisdom (Summer 1979); ‘Whitney Weeps for Me’ article from News of the World (8 May 1988); Linda King’s interview with Louisa John-Baptiste (n.d.); photocopy of ‘Lesbian Mothers Conference: A Black Lesbian View’ by Angela (n.d.); photocopy of review of Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider [by Barbara Christian?], from Black Feminist Criticism: Perspectives on Black Women Writers (1986); photocopy of National Coalition of Black Gays solidarity message to NGO Forum ’85 (1985); photocopied biographical articles/reference files on Angelina Weld Grimké, Ma Rainey, Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Dunbar Nelson, Edmonia Lewis, Bessie Smith, Gladys Bentley; photocopy of ‘No More Buried Lives: The Theme of Lesbianism in Audre Lorde’s Zami, Gloria Naylor’s The Women of Brewster Place, Ntozake Shange’s Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo, and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple’ [by Barbara Christian?], from Black Feminist Criticism: Perspectives on Black Women Writers (1986); photocopy of Jackie Kay’s interview with Maya Angelou, from Marxism Today (Sept 1987); photocopy of ‘Early Stars and Shows’ from Black Dance by Edward Thorpe (1989); photocopy of ‘Lesbian Daughter’ by Cheryl West, from SAGE 4.2 (1987); biographical article on Rosa Guy, from the Sunday Observer (8 Nov 1987); photocopy of ‘My Experience as a Black Lesbian Teacher’ article (n.d.); photocopy of ‘I Never Thought I’d be a Lesbian Until…’ by Sharon Smith (n.d.); photocopied Lesbian Archive & Information Centre ‘Black Lesbian Only Open Day’ (c.1990); review of Wild Women in the Whirlwind from New Statesman (n.d.); photocopy of ‘From the inside Looking In: A Reappraisal of Heart of the Race’ by Sisters in Study, from Realities of Time (n.d.); photocopy of ‘“I Dream a World”’ by Eleanor J. Bader, from On the Issues 14 (1990); Alan Wall’s interview with gay disco artist Sylvester, from Gay News 154 (Oct 1978); excerpt of early lesbian poetry from ‘Sapphic Song’ (n.d.).

Also includes two indexes for Black lesbian reference material and file contents, [probably from Lesbian Archive & Information Centre].

Black Lesbian Feminism

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.

Camden Lesbian Centre and Black Lesbian Group

CLCBLG correspondence

Incoming and outgoing CLCBLG correspondence and records relating to events including conferences and demonstrations.

Correspondents include Camden Black Lesbian Group, Camden Council Social Services Department, and Camden Council Mental Health Resource Group. Also contains a list of contacts and AGM programme for Camden Black Workers’ Group, and I Am Your Sister: Forging Global Connections Across Differences conference programme & cover letter (Oct 1990).

Material and resources re: events and workshops

Material relating to contemporaneous feminist and LGBTQ events outside of CLCBLG, including flyers, bulletins, booklets and handbooks relating to contemporary events and resources.

Includes: ‘An Introduction to the new Hackney Community College’ (n.d. [c.1990s?]); ‘Fat News’ bulletin and order form from London Fat Women’s Group (1992); poster advertising support groups for women in distress, held at South London Women’s Centre (n.d.); letter from Sheba Press enclosing promotional material for International Women’s Day 1994 (not enclosed; Feb 1994); poster for GAP House (women-only accommodation; n.d.); interview request from undergraduate dissertation student (22 Jul 1993); poster for lesbians & ageing study (n.d.); poster for Lesbian Dependents Anonymous Group (1991); National Alliance of Women’s Organisations (NAWO) AGM agenda and annual conference programme (1993); letter announcing ‘Lesbian Agenda for the 1990s’ from Lesbian Link Conference Organisers (1993); wallet of South London Lesbian and Gay Young People’s group material including mission statement, constitution, job descriptions, and info flyers for LIP magazine (produced by the Lesbian Arts & Media Project; n.d. [c.1990s?]); Women & Domestic Violence Project poster (n.d.); information about Pimlico Arts & Media’s ‘Women in the Media course (Jun 1993) and cover letter; call for submissions for Lewisham Young Women’s Resource Project newsletter (n.d.); Camden Network bulletin (Jun 1993); Older Lesbian Network newsletter (Jun 1993); Camden Community Information Network Directory & Exchange (Cindex) ‘Greek and Cypriot People in Camden’ report (May 1993); Cindex ‘Doctors in Camden’ list (1993); Camden Volunteer Bureau newsletter (1993).

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