Browse the Black Lesbian Archives

Unless we seek it out, it’s rare to casually encounter prose about falling in love as a black lesbian, thoughts on homophobia within black communities, or an erotic magazine for “dykes of all persuasions.” That’s because racism and homophobia are just as prevalent in academic and archival work as they are in any other sector of society, and it shows in the scarcity of archival material available on black lesbianism. Krü Maekdo noticed this absence in physical and digital libraries while she was researching lesbian history, and frustrated, she set out to elevate these excluded voices. The result was Black Lesbian Archives, an organization that collects archival material by and about black lesbians and makes it digitally accessible. Earlier this year, BLA started to make its materials physically accessible by kicking off its first tour, which was going to bring hundreds of written and visual materials to cities across the country. The BLA tour would’ve arrived in D.C. at the end of May, but it was canceled due to COVID-19. Fear not—Maekdo hasn’t stopped bringing prime black and gay content to the BLA Instagram account, and you can find more on its website. Maekdo also runs a YouTube channel and a podcast, where you can bask in her contagious good energy as she talks all things black and lesbian. You can also find her speaking to the current moment, telling listeners in her latest podcast episode that “we have the power to change this narrative.” Black Lesbian Archives can be found at blacklesbianarchives.wixsite.com and linktr.ee/blacklesbianarchives. Free. —Ella Feldman