LGBT Month: POC Edition Day Five

Name: Mabel Hampton

Distinction: A major archivist of black and gay life in the 20th century

Brief History: Hampton moved to New York in the 1920s to become a dancer and singer, and found a home in the Harlem Renaissance scene.  In 1932 she met her partner, Foster, and the two remained a couple until Foster’s death in 1978.  She contributed a great deal of her time and energy to The Lesbian Herstory Archives.

Importance:  We all know how taboo being gay was in the past.  Hell, even in the midst of marriage equality there is still a sense of “other” about it.  So for this woman to boldly be who she was in the 30s…man I think you’d be hard pressed to find a tougher lady.  And she recorded the history of others like her.  Others who probably would have been lost to history otherwise.  People have a tendency to try and wash away the things they think shameful and we should all be thankful this woman said it wasn’t happening on her watch.

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