Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Anita Cornwell

Anita Cornwell was born in Greenwood, South Carolina, on September 23, 1925. She moved to Pennsylvania in 1939 and to Philadelphia in 1942, thereafter earning a journalism degree at Temple University in 1948. In the 1970s, she joined the group Radicalesbians in Philadelphia and wrote essays about feminism, lesbianism, and race for The Ladder, Los Angeles Free Press, Gay Liberator, Lesbian Tide, Wicce, Gay Alternative, Sinister Wisdom, Dyke, and other publications. Her 1983 book Black Lesbian in White America was groundbreaking. Cornwell died on May 27, 2023. You can read more about her life in this 1993 oral history with Marc Stein: Philadelphia LGBT History Project, 1940-1980, by Marc Stein