Blacks and The N-Word

jesse-jackson

Rev. Irene Monroe: But, our culture’s present-day cavalier use of the n-word speaks less about our rights to free speech and more about how we as Americans — both White and Black — have become anesthetized to the damaging and destructive use of this epithet.

Essence Magazine’s True Color

essence magazine

Rev. Irene Monroe: There has been a color change at Essence. After forty years of having sisters from the African Diaspora as its fashion directors, the new one — Ellianna Placas — is white. And the news is sending seismic shock waves to many of its subscribers here in the U.S. and across the globe.

Healing the Black-White Divide on Homophobia

Rev. Leslie Sterling

Rev. Irene Monroe: McClurkin is a classic example why homophobia is an ongoing problem in the African American community, and it must be challenged at every opportunity.

Ex-Gay Minister Drives Gays From Boston’s Gospelfest

Pastor Donnie McClurkin

Rev. Irene Monroe: With Pastor Donnie McClurkin, the poster boy for African American ex-gay ministries, who spews anti-gay religion-based vitriol, billed as the main event, many in the African American lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) communities will not be in attendance at this year’s event. And neither will the mayor.

Did You Barbecue Pig or Pug This Fourth?

pug

Rev. Irene Monroe: The reason we eat cows, pigs, lamb, chickens, fish, and not dogs, cats, hamsters, and parakeets, according to Joy, is because our selective belief systems are supported by emotional and cultural responses that tell us some animals are edible while others are not.

Are We Not Patriots, Too?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rev. Irene Monroe: As LGBTQ Americans, our patriotism is not recognized. But one of our community’s greatest moments of patriotism was the Stonewall Riots of June 27–29, 1969, in New York City’s Greenwich Village. We celebrate their heroism every day as out-of-the-closet people who are intentionally visible in various facets of American life.

A Pride Event Not to Be Proud of

stonewall riots

Rev. Irene Monroe: Because of the bleaching of the Stonewall Riots, the beginnings of LGBTQ movement post-Stonewall is an appropriation of a black, brown, trans, and queer liberation narrative. And it is the deliberate visible absence of these black, brown, and yellow LGBTQ people that makes it harder, if not nearly impossible, for LGBTQ communities to build trusted coalitions with white LGBTQ communities.

Is Obama Avoiding Responsibly for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”?

Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. James Pietrangelo

Rev. Irene Monroe: The posturing last week from Congress was great theater. All the thespians performed their parts well, especially Obama. Why? If DADT is not repealed it gives the President an easy out. It allows the President to distance himself politically by shifting the responsibility and blame for DADT’s outcome from himself to some one else.

Theory of Blacks’ Intellectual Inferiority Rears Ugly Head at Harvard

Slavery

We all know affirmative action is a hot-button issue. At a basic level, it’s an attempt to take race, gender, and ethnicity (to name a few factors) into consideration to promote a level playing field for all. But the sub-text in all affirmative action debates is the fallacious belief that blacks selected to benefit from it are hopelessly and helplessly genetically inferior — that their DNA is chromosomally deficient, if not defective.

Cheating Harvard

harvard gate

Rev. Irene Monroe: We live in a society that is hypercritical of failure and super exuberant about success. As a culture, we have developed a false and damaging dichotomy about the relationship between failure and success that success has become a public affair of celebration and failure a private funeral of condemnation.

Lena Horne Was More Than Skin-Deep

lena horne

Rev. Irene Monroe: Horne discovered her light-skinned complexion and white facial features might have opened MGM doors for her, but once she got through them her tenure with MGM was fraught with all sorts of racial problems, the biggest one being her light-skinned complexion.

A Letter to a Mother Unknown

black child's hand

Rev. Irene Monroe: I never called anyone Mommy although I remember one day during my first spring semester at Union Theological Seminary in 1988 when I was rolled into St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Room because I was hemorrhaging, I just called out this name.

Country Music’s Chely Wright Comes Out, Joins Faith in America

chely wright

Rev. Irene Monroe: Wright has been on the country music scene since 1994, and professionally she worried about her career as an out lesbian, stating, “No one like me in country music has ever admitted his or her homosexuality.” While it is true that K.D. Lang was an out lesbian in Country Music, she eventually moved out of the genre into Pop, leaving many to speculate she did so because of her sexual orientation.

ROTC Marching Back onto Harvard’s Campus

rotc harvard

Rev. Irene Monroe: In February, when the nation’s top two Defense officials — Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — advocated for a repeal of the 1993 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” policy, universities like Brown, Columbia, and Harvard, to name a few, allowed ROTC to march its way back on campus.

Gay Community Loses Black Civil Rights Ally Dorothy Height

Rev. Irene Monroe: As president for forty years (1957- 1997) of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), an organization with the objective of advancing opportunities and the quality of life for African American women, their families, and communities with programs on issues like voting rights, poverty and, in later years, AIDS, Height understood that black families and communities could neither be whole nor healthy without championing gay civil rights for its LGBTQ community.

Catholic Church Needs Its Gay Priests

Clerical sex abuse

Rev. Irene Monroe: Studies have proved over and over again that the overwhelming majority of pedophiles are heterosexuals. And most of these pedophiles are not only married heterosexual men, but are married heterosexual men with children.

The Pope’s Pedophilic Church

Pedofile-priest-2

Rev. Irene Monroe: When you have a pope more invested in doctrinal debates than personal suffering, and more invested in exerting his ecclesiastical power in defrocking dissident theologians than his priestly flock of sex predators, then it’s easy to comprehend why the decades-long pleas and petitions from Catholic parishioners – worldwide – to Pope Benedict XVI to do something never made anything happen.

ObamaCare Passed Passing Up Reproductive Justice

young black doctor

Rev. Irene Monroe: Using women’s health care as a bargaining clip to pass H.R. 3590 has diminished, if not eliminated — for poor women and women of color who cannot pay for reproductive health care out-of-pocket — not only a safe abortion accessible to them but also emergency contraception.

Jamaica’s Gay Underground Christians

At a Vigil for Brian Williamson

Rev. Irene Monroe: Sometime in the late hours of Saturday night the call will come in. Philbert (not his real name) — like many of his Christian LGBTQ buddies — waits anxiously for the call to tell him the time and place of the van pickup, and where it’ll drop he and his friends off to a safe and secluded place for Sunday worship.

Black Motherhood Lost at the Oscars

Mo’Nique in "Precious"

Rev. Irene Monroe: The historical legacy of the devaluation and demonization of black motherhood was both applauded and rewarded at this year’s Oscars. And the point was clearly illustrated with Mo’Nique, capturing the gold statue for best supporting actress in the movie “Precious,” based on the novel Push by Sapphire, as a ghetto welfare mom who demeans and demoralizes her child every chance she can.

Black Community’s Division on Abortion Ad Campaign

Sad-black-woman

Rev. Irene Monroe: While many black pro-lifers believe that the way to maintain the institution of the black family and to overcome white supremacy is by denying women their right to choose, these same anti-abortionists ironically are also anti-gay, anti-birth control, and anti-condoms, ignoring that homophobic vitriol, STDs and HIV/AIDS will kill the black family sooner than white supremacists anti-black conspiracy theories.

Black and Queer in Nazi Germany

Valaida Snow

Rev. Irene Monroe: While in pre-Hitler Germany all-female orchestras were de rigeur in many avant-garde entertainment clubs, these homosocial all-women’s bands created tremendous outrage during Hitler’s regime. Snow was sent to a concentration camp not only because she was black and in the wrong place at the wrong time, but also because of her “friendships” with German women musicians, implying lesbianism.

Honoring Notorious Gladys Bentley

Bentley Bently

Rev. Irene Monroe: A talented pianist and blues singer, and one of the most notorious and successful entertainers during the Harlem Renaissance, Bentley cultivated a large LGBTQ following up until the 1950s. As an African-American woman whose success derived from her raunchy and salacious lyrics to popular tunes, Bentley not only openly sang about sex, but she also openly lived and celebrated her sexual orientation as an out lesbian.

Do We Still Need to Celebrate Black History Month?

Greensboro sit-in: Ezell Blair Jr., Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond

Rev. Irene Monroe: Within the African- American LGBTQ community, Black History Month has always come under criticism. And rightly so! The absence of LGBTQ people of African descent in the month-long celebration is evidence of how race, gender and sexual politics of the dominant culture are reinscribed in black culture as well.

Will Faith-Based Agencies Help Haiti’s Gay Community?

Erzulie Dantor

Rev. Irene Monroe: It is my hope that the many conservative faith-based groups and organizations that are now part of Haiti’s earthquake relief effort will not discriminate against Haiti’s LGBTQ community as many of them did toward New Orleans’s queer communities during Katrina.

Pat Robertson’s Haitian Theodicy

Haiti quake

Irene Monroe: While scientists explain Haiti’s recent natural disaster as an earthquake due to a fault it sits on along the border between two large tectonic plates – the North American plate to the north, and the Caribbean plate to the south – that slowly slide horizontally past each other, Robinson explains the disaster as “Something [that] happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it.”

Would King Have Spoken Out on LGBTQ Justice?

Rev. Irene Monroe: Sadly, Bayard Rustin, the gay man who was chief organizer and strategist for the 1963 March on Washington that further catapulted Martin Luther King onto the world stage, was not the beneficiary of King’s dream.

Black Gays Invited to White House

Sharon J. Letterman, NBJC's new Executive Director

Rev. Irene Monroe: Just as my enslaved ancestors could have never imagined an African American family residing in the White House, nor could my African American LGBTQ brothers and sisters who fought in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York’s Greenwich Village imagine that one day a special invitation from the White House would openly welcome us in.

The Right’s Bogus War on Christmas

Baby-xmas

What’s in a greeting? With Ramadan, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and Christmas all going on this time of year, one would think that an all-inclusive seasonal greeting emblematic of our nation’s religious diversity would be embraced by us all with two simple words — Happy Holidays! However, the season’s greeting is the ongoing chapter in […]

Election of Lesbian Priest Spurs Racial and Queer Divide in Episcopal Church

Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce of California

With the Episcopal Church’s urban landscape changing, the denomination has opted to pour its support, money, and energy not into these historic black churches but instead into developing urban Latino churches.

Visit us on Google+