NCBG-Chicago: The National Coalition of Black Gays
(Full-length interviews are available on Chicago Gay History Copyright Prairie Avenue Productions, LLC)
Racism in Chicago's Gay Community
In the late 70s and early 80s, racism was very prevalent in Chicago's gay community. Many African Americans gays and lesbians recalled being asked for several identification cards to gain access to gay bars. Since most gay organizations at the time were insensitive to these problems, African American gays and lesbians in Chicago started to organize politically.
The National Coalition of Black Gays
The National Coalition of Black Gays (NCBG) was organized by A. Billy, S. Jones, and Delores P. Berry in the spring of 1978 to provide a national forum for African American gay men and lesbians, at a time where gay and lesbian organizations did not represent the views and experience of African Americans.
Local chapters quickly formed in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. In 1979, NCBG was the organizer of the Third World Conference held simultaneously with the first March on Washington for gay rights (October 12 - 14, 1979).
NCBG - Chicago Chapter
Several African American gay activists who attended this conference decided to form the NCBG - Chicago Chapter. Thanks to the NCBG - Chicago, Foster’s, a popular gay bar, agreed to have four workshops on HIV. In 1983, Activist Richard Gray and Henry Martin, owner of Martin’s Den, a gay bar, announced a series of workshops entitled “HIV and Health in the Gay Community.”