Morehouse College, a historically African-American school, will offer a course in black LGBT history and culture beginning in the spring semester.
Yale University professor Jafari S. Allen will teach the class via Skype, reports The Maroon Tiger, Atlanta-based Morehouse’s student newspaper. “He’s very interested in gender nonconformity among people of color, and I’m interested in that as well,” said Marcus Lee, special project and events coordinator for SafeSpace, Morehouse’s gay-straight alliance, who brought Allen into the project.
Allen told the paper, “What you call ‘human rights advocacy’ is for me just trying to be a responsible person in the world to point out and perhaps, in some cases, also to attempt to help to fix injustices. While this may be controversial in some academic settings where there is the pretension of a kind of nonpolitical educational project, this has never been the case for Morehouse or for any historically black institution. So it is essential for Morehouse students, faculty, administrators, and alumni to engage [in] this conversation.”
SafeSpace public relations director Ja’Mal Lewis said the course will bring visibility to black LGBT leaders who have been overlooked. “Many influential LGBT leaders have gone unrecorded due to their sexuality, and they made many of the movements that changed and shaped our history,” he said.