Have Blacks lost the civil rights agenda to gays?


Alma Speed Fox, Pittsburgh civil rights legend who has spent more than 70 of her 90 years marching, and protesting for African-Americans and who led the NAACP Pittsburgh office, formed Freedom Unlimited and sat on the Pittsburgh commission that established anti-gay discrimination ordinances has a slightly different take.

“I support gay rights. People said the same thing when the Women’s Rights movement started up. I’m a woman so I supported that. But, I’m Black first. My mother knew I’d be Black before she knew I’d be a woman,” she said. “There are gay Blacks and there are gay women, and some of them are Black. Am I not supposed to be for them too?”

Fox added that the idea that gay rights as the new civil rights is somehow denigrating to the memory of people like Medgar Evers or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is ridiculous.

“Bayard Rustin was gay—and he was out there. And he was one of the main organizers of the March on Washington,” said Fox. “I’m for everyone having equal rights. But, if I think you’re taking something of mine, I’m going to come and talk to you.”

Gregory Johnson-Davis is a 21-year-old college student from Leetsdale, and he is flamboyantly gay, on occasion wearing a pillbox hat with a veil, or black leather Nightwalker shoes with chrome spikes, or even hot pants and usually with his hair dyed to match.

He is also Black. He said the gay agenda is taking over, but said he has no problem with it.

“In 10 years, someone else will be pushing us to the back of the bus,” he said.

Johnson-Davis would never denigrate the sacrifices Fox and her fellows, and the generations that followed made for Black rights, but he has those. He said he feels safe as an African-American, but not as a gay American.

“As a Black person, when I’ve been discriminated against, I’ve come back and come out on top. I have those rights. As a gay person I don’t,” he said. “I think, as far as the Black Civil Rights struggle, it’s done. Gay is the new Black.”

(Send comments to cmorrow@newpittsburghcourier.com.)


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