The National Black Justice Coalition will host its third annual James Baldwin Legacy Awards, honoring the contributions of Black men and masculine elders within the Black LGBTQ and same-gender-loving community.
Scheduled for Monday, August 21, the awards, sponsored by AARP, will honor Black males who have made “invaluable contributions” to the betterment of the community, including some who are trailblazers in their respective careers.
This year’s honorees include Jonathan Capehart, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Associate Editor of The Washington Post and host of The Sunday Show with Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC; Frederick Davie, the first Black, openly gay person to serve as the executive vice president at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, the president and CEO of Public/Private Ventures, and as interim executive director at the Arcus Foundation; Jamil Fletcher, the founder and publisher of SWERV magazine, a publication celebrating the Black LGBTQ community; and Judge Darrin Gayles, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, who is the first openly gay Black male judge to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a position on a federal court.
Other honorees include Jeffrey C. King, founder and executive director of In the Meantime Men, a social justice activist and community-based researcher creating behavioral-based interventions for Blac gay men; the Rev. Louis Mitchell, the co-founder and executive director of the Transfaith/Interfaith Working Group and senior pastor of Rincon Congregational United Church of Christ in Tucson, Arizona; and Councilman Darryl Moore, the first and only openly gay Black man elected to public office in two states — California, where he served as a city councilman in Berkeley, and Virginia, where he currently serves as a city councilman for the city of Manassas Park. Moore also serves on the steering committee of the NBJC Good Trouble Network.
In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of the aforementioned award winners, the event will also advocate for policies or programs aimed at protecting Black LGBTQ and same-gender-loving seniors as they age, especially within elder care facilities and senior living communities; decriminalizing and removing the stigma of being Black, LGBTQ and elderly; educating and providing affordable and accessible treatment for Black LGBTQ elders living with HIV; and encouraging Black LGBTQ elders to test for HIV/AIDS.
“Too often, Black LGBTQ+/SGL elders are rendered invisible, the process of aging is hidden, and our existence is frozen in photos of young, thin, white appearing people at pride parades,” Dr. David Johns, the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said in a statement.
“If we’re supported, in a loving community, and protected by policies designed to ensure we thrive, we –Black LGBTQ+/SGL people — grow old. The Baldwin Awards (and corresponding Wisdom Awards) are designed to give flowers to Black queer, trans, and non-binary/non-conforming leaders; celebrate the process of aging, preserve the lessons learned over time, and facilitate intergenerational connections that enable Black people to get closer to freedom — collectively.”
The James Baldwin Legacy Awards will kick off on Monday, August 21 at 1 p.m. There is no cost to watch the event. For more information or to attend, visit nbjc.org/james-baldwin-legacy-awards.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!