BLK Publications

Alternate Names: 
BLK Publishing
Type: 
Publication
Magazine
First Document: 
1993
Last Document: 
2019
Address: 
PO Box 83912
Los Angeles, CA 90083-0912

BLK Publications was paramount to the increase of unity and awareness within the Black LGBTQ community not only in Los Angeles, but across the entire nation. Being members of a community with multiple constantly oppressed and marginalized identities, it was extremely difficult for black LGBT people to find solace with other like-minded individuals. BLK Magazine gave comfort to these people, ensuring them that they were not alone and that their identities mattered. This was especially necessary with the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic, as people in Black LGBTQ communities were dying at higher rates than others largely due to lack of shared resources.

BLK gave outlets for activists to talk about the injustices their community faced and advocate for fighting back against oppressive systems, encouraging readers to dedicate their resources toward minimizing the deadly disease as much as possible. This was done through BLK collaborations with icons like Phill Wilson, founder of the Black AIDS Institute. BLK also constantly ran advertisements that provided opportunities for the community to help one another, such as dispensaries for people suffering from chronic pain. Another example would lie in their more sexually-inclined magazines such as Blackfire and Black Lace, which showcased Black LGBTQ people in sexual pictures whilst also portraying them as strong and fierce in their own ways.

Citations: 

BLK Magazine July 1991 Whole No. 32 Vol. 3, No. 7: “High Risk, Low Priority: AIDS in the Black Gay Community”

Broverman, Neal. “ONE Archives Exhibit Highlights Queer Activism.” The Advocate, The Advocate, 2 Feb. 2013

“African-American LGBTQ+ Periodicals.” Oviatt Library, CSUN, 16 Feb. 2016

Interview with BLK's Alan Bell