Black LGBT Pioneers You Should Know
BY Michelle Garcia
February 28 2013 7:00 AM ET
Dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey took advantage of history and emotion to create his celebratory, groundbreaking work. After years of training under greats like Martha Graham, and Lester Horton, he founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1958, giving a platform to tell the stories of blacks in Africa and America. Revelations, a celebration of religious spirit, premiered in 1980, and was one of his most well respected works that his company still performs three decades later. When Ailey died of complications from AIDS in 1989, the New York Times wrote, "you didn't need to have known [him] personally to have been touched by his humanity, enthusiasm, and exuberance and his courageous stand for multi-racial brotherhood."