Black LGBT Pioneers You Should Know

As Black History Month comes to a close, here are a few people whose groundbreaking work should be celebrated all year.

BY Michelle Garcia

February 28 2013 7:00 AM ET

Richmond Barthé
Richmond “Jimmie” Barthé was a sculptor and a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930s. That he was also a gay man who expressed his orientation in his work is most likely why he fell into obscurity by the 1940s. Much of his art depicted African-American men in sensual poses, often nude. Today, his work seems not that confrontational, but in a basically racist, sexually nervous America of the middle of the last century, it is remarkable that his work received the acclaim that it did.

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