Celebrating the History of Black Members of the LGBTQ+ Community

As we make our way through February, we’re continuing to celebrate Black History Month at Commvault. As a member of our LGBTQ+ & Allies Employee Resource Group, I believe that allyship, awareness, and education is greatly important to how we show we truly care.

As we make our way through February, we’re continuing to celebrate Black History Month at Commvault. As a member of our LGBTQ+ & Allies Employee Resource Group, I believe that allyship, awareness, and education is greatly important to how we show we truly care.

That’s why I wanted to take a moment to celebrate the rich history between the Black and LGBTQ+ communities! It’s so important for us all to remember and honor the incredible impact that Black members of the LGBTQ+ community have had on society:

  • Bayard Rustin was an LGBTQ and civil rights activist who was an adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He organized the 1963 March on Washington and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. 
  • James Baldwin was a writer and social critic in the 1950s. He was best known for his collection of essays, “Notes of a Native Son,” and his groundbreaking 1956 novel, “Giovanni’s Room,” which depicts themes of homosexuality and bisexuality. He spent most of his career educating others about Black and queer identity, and is well known for his lecture titled, “Race, Racism and the Gay Community” that he made during a meeting in the New York chapter of Black and White Men Together in 1982.
  • Barbara Jordan was a civil rights leader and attorney who became the first African American elected to the Texas Senate in 1966. She later became the first woman and African American elected to Congress from Texas in 1972. Barbara was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Bill Clinton in in 1994. 
  • Marsha P. Johnson was a transgender rights activist who was one of the central figures in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. Along with other transgender activists, she helped form Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR), which provided housing and other forms of support to homeless LGBTQ+ youth and sex workers in Manhattan. She was also an AIDS activist with ACT UP in the early 1990s.

These are a just a few examples – there are so many more incredible stories of Black members of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history. I encourage anyone reading this to take some time to think of how you can be an ally during Black History Month through further education and understanding. 

Let’s continue to celebrate and honor our Black Vaulters, peers, community members, and all those throughout history who advocated for change to make the world a better place. 

And that’s what we’re doing here at Commvault each day with our Employee Resource Groups – creating a culture of support, inspiration, and, most importantly, inclusion. 

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