Next week, NAACP will host their first Town Hall meeting of LGBT issues during their annual convention. Panelists will include Professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall of Spelman College, actor Darryl Stephens, Wanda Sykes, Kenyon Farrow and Benjamin Jealous.
"Black members of the LGBT community share a common history and continued struggle to address issues of bigotry, yet their identities, talents and leadership are often times diminished because of homophobia and fear of physical violence,” says NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “It is important that we address these issues head on.”
Moderated by CNN News Anchor Don Lemon, the forum will examine the significant contributions of black gay leaders within the Civil Rights movement, the role of black straight allies in addressing homophobia, and how the country can collectively overcome LGBT discrimination within the black community.
The inclusion of the panel is a significant move by the NAACP. The civil rights group first showed solidarity with the gay community when it created the LGBT Task Force in partnership with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) several years ago (Bond was also a member).This is a very big step for NAACP. I'm glad they are moving forward.
“The LGBT Task Force represents a historic moment for African-American LGBTs,” Dr. Sylia Rhue said in 2009 when she was interim director of the NBJC. “I believe it will establish the foundation for the NAACP as a forward-looking body, and finally moving it as it recognizes LGBT rights within the NAACP governing body.”