A Remembrance of Joseph Beam

By Sidney Brinkley One day I decided to clean out a closet stuffed with boxes that had moved with me from Washington, DC to San Francisco in 1991. They hadn’t been opened in years and most were filled with what I expected, news clippings, old correspondence and assorted items once thought important, now headed for … Read more

Interview with Melvin Boozer

by Sidney Brinkley Within the past year, Melvin Boozer has accomplished two “Firsts: the first Black person to be elected president of the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), and the first Black Gay male to be nominated for vice-president at the Democratic National Convention. He has won an unprecedented second term as president of GAA. Melvin … Read more


SAN FRANCISCO – Marcus Books, the oldest Black book store in America, was forced to close its doors in early May when it was evicted from its Fillmore Street digs after falling behind on the rent. On Tuesday, May 6, co-owners Karen and Greg Johnson arrived to find the locks changed and an eviction notice … Read more

Racism in Cuba and The Failure of the American Left

by Sidney Brinkley “All citizens have equal rights and are subject to equal duties. Discrimination because of race, color, sex or national origin is forbidden and will be punished by law.”-The Cuban Constitution 1959 “I think we should see more black representation in the higher positions of leadership now. In the middle leadership, for example, … Read more

Prisoner in Paradise An Interview with Assata Shakur

by Evelyn C. White As Assata Shakur writes in her poetic 1987 memoir, “Assata: An Autobiography,” her name means “she who struggles” and the “the thankful.” Although she has been exiled in Cuba for nearly two decades, the former JoAnne Chesimard continues to fight by speaking out against inequality and oppression. Our conversation took place … Read more


By David Pitts The American economic embargo against Cuba, more comprehensive than that imposed on almost any nation including Apartheid South Africa, turned 37 this year with little sign that it will be lifted. But there have been recent indications of a slight thaw in the frozen impasse of U.S.-Cuban relations. Last January, President Clinton … Read more

The Queens of Cuba

“Due to homophobic intolerance and repression, until a few years ago drag shows in Cuba were held in the utmost privacy. Today they are coming out with a bang! Two groups-Salsa Caliente and Grupo An√≥nimo-hold regular performances in their neighborhood center in Guanabacoa. They have been invited (and paid!) to perform for the Poder Popular, … Read more

The Issue of Race in Love and Sex

The racial issues the larger society are dealing with are also found among Gays. Indeed, there are those who say racism among Gays is even more pronounced than among straights. “There is a great deal of racism in the Gay community,” says Ana¬†Himsley Serrano, a mulatto who looks as if she is Black. “There is … Read more