James Baldwin Legacy Awards Celebrates Contributions of Black Men within the LGBTQ+/SGL Community

National Senior Citizens Day (Sunday, August 21st, 2022), at 3:00 pm ET, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) will host the 2nd annual James Baldwin Legacy Awards to honor the invaluable contributions of Black men and masculine elders within the Black LGBTQ+/same gender loving (SGL) movement and community.
The awards show is an opportunity to honor iconic Black GBTQ+/SGL men and masculine elders and celebrate aging. The 2022 honorees have blazed trails across many fields and careers and include (in alphabetical order)
  • Elder Bishop Kwabena “Rainey” Cheeks, the co-founder of Us Helping Us, People into Living, coordinator of the historic DC Clubhouse community events, and a faith leader at Inner Light Ministries.

  • Eugene Cornelius, the senior advisor to the Office of International Trade at the U.S. Small Business Administration and Designer of the International Council of Small Business at George Washington University.

  • Earl Fowlkes, the founder, president, and chief executive officer of the Center for Black Equity, Chair of the Democratic LGBTQ+ Caucus

  • Rev. Cedric Harmon, the co-director of Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for LGBTQ Justice.

  • Curtis Lipscomb, the Executive Director of LGBT Detroit.

  • Dr. Cleo Manago, coined the term “same-gender loving,” founder and CEO of AmASSI Health and Cultural Centers and Black Men’s Xchange.

  • Dr. Eugene McCray, one of the earliest Black gay HIV/AIDS researchers at the CDC and former director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention.

The event is sponsored by AARP.


“The double marginalization of Black, GBTQ+/SGL men cannot be understated. Our histories and contributions are often erased and taken for granted even when we live on the front lines of efforts to ensure that all of us can get free,” said Dr. David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “It is in this spirit that NBJC hosts this annual event to honor the Black GBTQ+/SGL men who have paved the way for us all to live lives that are healthier, happier, and filled with more opportunities than were afforded to them. We hope this event pays homage to the invaluable contributions of James Baldwin and all of our brothers who have paved the way for LGBTQ+/SGL people to simply be.”

The National Black Justice Coalition advocates for policies that:

  1. Protects Black LGBTQ+ seniors and their dignity as they age in families, elder care facilities, senior living communities, and more
  2. Works to decriminalize and remove the stigma and barriers associated with being Black and LGBTQ+/SGL in legislation featured in its Policy Agenda.

About National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)

Since 2003, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) has been America’s leading national civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS through coalition building, federal policy change, research, and education. Our mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ+/SGL bias and stigma. NBJC supports Black individuals, families, and communities in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBTQ+/SGL equity.

We envision a world where all people are fully empowered to participate safely, openly, and honestly in family, faith, and community, regardless of race, class, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

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